If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving. Those beautiful words come from none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. and they serve as the perfect mantra to anyone who understands the struggles of weight loss and the challenges posed by exercise.
Maybe you are new to the exercise game or you have reached a weight-loss plateau. Maybe you need to recover strength after an injury. Sometimes your body simply needs a break from the grueling pounding of feet on the pavement or the impact of the court. Low-impact activities are a perfect way to get a whole-body workout without jarring your joints.
Low impact exercise, often defined as exercise where you keep at least one foot on the ground at all times, increases your heart rate, improves your flexibility, and strengthens your muscles and bones, all while protecting your joints from undue pressure.
Here are 3 excellent low impact exercises that will turn setbacks into comebacks.
It makes sense. Walking is affordable, easy, and great fun. No special equipment is needed. The numbers of Americans who are walking has increased drastically since 2005, with 60 percent of American adults reporting walking for at least 10 minutes a week.
According to MyFitnessPal, A 150-pound person will typically burn 129 calories walking for 30 minutes at 3.5 mph. The calories you burn depend on how much you weigh, the distance you are walking, and how fast you are moving. Low-intensity exercises like walking burn fewer total calories than high-intensity exercise such as running, but you can burn more calories and lose weight by increasing the time spent on low-intensity exercise.
The CDC advises adults to do aerobic exercise at least 150 minutes a week. Walking gives your immune system a boost, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Plus, they say walking is cheaper than therapy. Studies have shown a direct positive correlation between the number of steps you walk and self-reported improvements in mood and happiness.
While exercising in a gym can make an overweight person feel terribly out of place and insecure, walking can be done around your neighborhood late at night or before dawn to avoid gawkers, with the added bonus that it is also cooler at those times.
To make the most of your walking workout, make sure your walking stance is right! Your spine should be straight and your arms bent at 90 degrees. Swing your arms as you walk with a back and forth movement. Strike the ground heel first, then toe, rolling through each step.
Strength training uses resistance to build the strength and size of your muscles. It will not only help you lose weight, but it does an amazing job of helping you keep those pounds from coming back. How is that? Isn’t cardio what burns calories? Yes, but strength training helps you gain muscle and revs up your metabolism to keep burning calories post-workout as the body recovers. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn, even when at rest.
Strength training is also awesome at lifting your spirits and keeping you mentally strong. Studies show that men and women who lift weights report feeling less depressed and less anxious, and it also improves brain cognition in older adults.
Strength training can also help you build bone density. This is great news since you typically reach your peak bone mass by the age of 30, and after that, you lose more bone than you gain.
People with osteoporosis may fear strength training, thinking they can break a bone. On the contrary, strength training will build both muscle and bone strength, and it helps you become more flexible and coordinated. You also improve your balance.
Easy and affordable strength training exercise can be as simple as doing squats, curls, and presses with a pair of three to five-pound dumbbells from the comfort of your home. Some people prefer using elastic bands as a very smooth and low-impact way of gaining strength and mobility.
You know that full body exhaustion you get from a day spent in the pool or the ocean? You might think you are just lolling about not doing much, but just treading water can burn 11 calories a minute! Treading water gives every single muscle in your body a workout. Now imagine going through a fitness routine with added weights and movement.
What makes water aerobics fantastic is how easy on the joints it is, making it perfect for anyone who is recuperating or has limited mobility. But due to the increased resistance, your workout will be much more intense and energy-consuming. With water aerobics, the pounds just come off. You will feel your range of motion, joint mobility, flexibility and balance increase.
You can do a full-body workout with just a plain old beach ball in a pool or hot tub. Water aerobics classes are also often offered at your local Y or gym. Some instructors will take their classes to your pool, where you can have fun with your friends while you get fit.
Exercise does wonders for your mind, body, and spirit, and making it a part of your weight loss journey keeps you fighting fit and feeling great. Nutrition is also an essential component of any weight loss program. Dr. Nina Coletta and her staff can design a nutrition and exercise program that suits your physical strengths and your budget.
If you have been seeking professional coaching to guide you through the struggles of weight loss or to move you out of an exercise plateau to the next level, contact the office of Dr. Coletta at 954-452-4590 or through our online contact form.
Dr. Nina Coletta has been practicing Podiatric medicine for nearly 20 years and is the owner of Lifestyle Weight Loss Clinic. For the past 30 years, Dr. Coletta has been a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. Her passion for health and wellness, along with a strong desire to help her patients live healthy lifestyles, led to the selection of Ideal Protein as her platform of choice for weight loss.