Maintaining healthy joints is essential for movement and overall wellness. You may find that the natural wear and tear on your body catches up with you the more you age. There are several options for maintaining joint health, including eating a healthy diet and staying active.
If you already have problems with recovery time and pain after working out, there are many fitness routines that can help you get in your fitness time without the fear of needing days to recover.
Dawn, a certified fitness instructor and employee here at Swanson Health Products, demonstrates some of her favorite low-impact exercises below.
Check out 14 low-impact exercises below that will help support your joints and reduce recovery time.
Walking comes with many health benefits, is easy for beginners and doesn’t hurt your joints. You can go for a leisurely stroll or kick it up with various speeds and incline levels to get more of a workout. Whether you’re outside or on the treadmill, walking will keep you moving without needing extra recovery time.
Speaking of incline levels, hiking is a great way to strengthen joints without the concern of damaging them. Make sure to take it easy and go at whatever pace works best for you. It’s always best to start with easier hikes and work your way up as your body gets used to various levels of intensity.
Another way to get your legs moving is by cycling. You can go outside or use a stationary bike at the gym; either way, this workout will get your blood pumping and your joints in shape without pain. As always, make sure to start out slow and build up speed and distance over time.
If you’re looking to build upper body strength, try a rowing machine. This cardio machine will also help workout your lower body, improve posture and burn calories. This is another fast-or-slow exercise, so choose the best pace for you and go for it!
Elliptical machines are perfect for anyone starting out. They make you feel like you’re walking or running on air, and they come with little or no impact on your joints. Look for a machine with upper body attachments to get even more out of your workout.
While not all strength training exercises are ideal for someone wanting a low-impact workout, there are many options that will work perfectly. Try squats, lunges, planks and similar routines to tone your body and build up joint strength.
Swimming helps you achieve a total-body workout. There are many form options like breaststroke and backstroke. Best of all, it’s fun! You can also get a workout and strengthen your joints with water games, so don’t forget handstand contests and pool basketball.
Whether you want to go ballroom dancing or kick it up a notch with Zumba, dancing will provide you with a great workout while strengthening your body. Not only that, it’s also fun! Dancing is perfect for anyone who dreads working out, and your joints will thank you for the low-impact fun.
Apart from being low-impact, yoga comes with several benefits. It reduces stress and helps your body with stretching, flexibility and strength. For keeping things low-impact, avoid doing more intense routines like hot yoga and power yoga.
Strengthen your core and support both joints and muscles with pilates! This low-impact fitness routine comes in many forms for people of various levels and will help increase strength and flexibility. Talk to an instructor to find out the best routine for you.
Want to meditate while you move? Try Tai Chi! This routine involves a calm atmosphere and gentle movements that will help your body with flexibility and strength while supporting overall balance. Tai Chi is effective in as little as 20 minutes per day. Find your center, focus and move.
This one may surprise you, but golfing will help support joint health. Between bending to line up the shot and the swing itself, your joints build strength and flexibility. We also recommend walking instead of taking the golf cart as this will enhance your workout.
It’s hard to stay indoors all winter if you live in a colder climate. Snowshoeing can help! This exercise is more than just walking. You’ll burn extra calories due to the snow resistance as you step. This exercise will help get you outside in the winter and build strength while taking it easy on your joints.
Another great low-impact activity during winter is cross-country skiing. While regular skiing can be taxing on the body, cross-country skiing keeps you on level ground. Don’t worry, you’ll still be working hard to move across the terrain, and the poles used will help you achieve an upper body workout.
What are some of your favorite low-impact exercises?