Low-Impact Exercises You Can Do At Home
Modern fitness culture has popularized a wide range of high-intensity activities, from Crossfit and spin-class to marathon running and exercise bootcamps.
Yet not everyone benefits from these types of rigorous activities, especially if you have certain health conditions, are older or suffer from injuries that prevent intense movement. Moreover, with the availability of home-based fitness workouts – through YouTube or DVDs – people can easily work out at home.
The following exercises are all low-impact and they can also be done right in your living room:
Step aerobics are a great way to experience the benefits of cardiovascular training without the high-impact stress that comes from sports like running.
You can buy specialized stepping equipment or use common household items, like phone books, to create "steps." If you have stairs in your house, you can easily use those for a step aerobic workout as well.
For a soothing exercise that builds strength, improves flexibility and increases mobility, try yoga.
All you need to practice yoga is an exercise mat. There are many different types of yoga – everything from slow and restorative sequences to high-energy, cardio-based flows. Any type of yoga, however, is low-impact and can improve fluidity in the joints.
High-Intensity Interval Training.
If you want to burn fat without the high impact of jumping, weight-lifting or stressful cardio, try some form of low-impact, high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
A HIIT workout consists of alternate periods of higher-intensity activity with periods of lower-intensity activity. The exercises you do, however, can be anything. For example, you could combine gentle strength training – lunges, plank work or light weights – with periods of cardio. Or you could combine periods of light, in-place jogging with periods of in-place stepping.
If you have the resources to buy an exercise machine, using an elliptical trainer is an easy way to get an effective, low-impact, at-home workout.
Elliptical machines simulate activities like climbing, walking or running – but without the stress they cause the body.
You can find elliptical machines at your local sporting goods store or buy a used one that's more affordable online.
Pilates is a floor-based, low-impact exercise that doesn't require much space. Incorporating movements that strengthen the core, Pilates can powerfully transform your body without the stress and strain of activities that require standing.
A practice that involves intentionally slow, focused movements, tai chi can strengthen the body and increase mobility and flexibility.
You don't need any equipment to practice tai chi, and it can be done in a small indoor space.