If you’re getting bored with your exercise routine and dreading the inevitable soreness that follows, you might want to consider these low-impact exercises. These ideas are easy on your joints, and if you’re looking to be more active than usual, they’ll leave you feeling energized while still giving your body the workout it needs. Many people regularly use treadmills and elliptical machines, but they may not be the safest option if you have recently undergone orthopedic surgery. Here are some great ideas for low-impact exercises you can do instead.
1. Water Exercise
Shallow water exercise is just as effective as deep water aerobics and has many benefits. The resistance provided by the water helps build muscle and boost your metabolism, while shallow water aerobics will strengthen your joints but not put any pressure on them. Swimming is another excellent low-impact exercise that helps improve stamina while maintaining a steady heart rate and allowing your body to burn extra calories at rest. According to the Arthritis Foundation, water exercise helps reduce the risk of falls by strengthening your muscles to have more balance, which can help you avoid dangerous situations.
2. Rowing Machine
Rowing machines are low-impact but great cardiovascular workouts. According to studies, the rowing machine is just as effective at strengthening muscles as cycling or jogging. Rowing machines work by pulling and pushing on a handle connected to a chain and flywheel, which will mimic the motion of real rowing. To give yourself a challenge, you can use rowing machines with various levels of resistance or row using one arm at a time for an even better workout. Also, the high-energy flywheel and chain in the rowing machine can help you burn even more calories.
3. Stationary Bicycling
If you don’t have time to go to the gym, a great low-impact exercise is just a bike ride away. Even though you’ll be sitting on a bicycle seat while stationary, you can still get your heart rate up by increasing the resistance and pedaling faster. According to experts, if you want an even better workout, combine your cycle with hills or an incline for an extra challenge. Many people find stationary bicycles easier to ride than an actual bike. Stationary bikes typically have a more upright seat, and the backrest is padded for comfort.
Before getting on a treadmill, you may want to invest in good running shoes and stretchy workout pants to help prevent muscle stress injuries. Although they are similar to walking, you should not run while wearing high heels because your heels will primarily carry your body weight. You can increase your pace and intensity on a treadmill to give yourself an excellent aerobic workout. The treadmill is great for people with arthritis because it reduces joint stress and allows your body to strengthen muscles that may become weak due to arthritis.
These exercise ideas are easy on your joints, but if you want to take it up a notch, talk to your doctor about different types of physical therapy. Physical therapy can help you build endurance and strength while working specific muscles. Using these low-impact exercises and physical therapy is good for your body in many ways, especially if you have joint problems.