Kettlebell Fitness

Archive for the ‘Low impact’ Category

postheadericon Low Impact Exercise Strategies

Low Impact Exercise Strategies

Not every man and woman is cut out for the high intensity training that many people embrace when they want to look and feel better. Some people need or prefer low impact exercise routines.

Strength training, endurance, flexibility and balance are the four prominent areas where you can embrace a low impact exercise regimen and receive health benefits without putting your body at risk for injury or exhaustion.

What Is Low Impact Exercise?

Low impact exercise is the type of exercise that doesn’t put stress on your body. That means, it’s kind to your joints and bones and muscles. If you’ve ever felt the pain of working out the following day, then you’ve probably engaged in high impact exercise.

Walking is the most prominent low impact exercise people engage in. Anyone can walk, anywhere, at any time. You don’t need special equipment aside from comfortable shoes.

You can walk on a flat plane or up and down hills, depending on your fitness level. You can walk outside, indoors, in place, fast, or slow. It all revolves around your comfort level.

Aerobics are often considered high impact because if you’ve ever seen some of those classes, you’ll know that there’s a lot of movement and bouncing around. But there are also low impact aerobic classes. You can also find DVDs that take it easy on the impact side of aerobic exercise.

Tai chi is a popular low impact exercise. It’s an ancient Chinese exercise based on slow movement and deep breathing, combined. You will stretch your body and put it in a state f constant motion, while keeping your joints and other body parts protected.

Yoga is another low impact exercise, but don’t mistake it as being easy. The great thing about yoga is that as your fitness level improves, you can stick with the low impact, but increase the calorie burn based on what you choose to do with it.

Pilates is a similar exercise to yoga and tai chi in that you’ll be strengthening your core, not putting stress on your body, and reaping the rewards of getting some low impact exercise worked into your day.

Water based exercise is low impact exercise that many people enjoy That could include swimming (like doing laps in the pool), or water aerobics or strength training.

Not only are water exercises good for your body and mind, but most people have a lot of fun being in the water to swim, and it feels relaxing, not strenuous. You can even take local classes for this type of exercise.

Chair dancing sounds kind of silly – and it is – but it’s lots of fun, and a great form of low impact exercise that you can do to get the blood flowing in your body. Chair dancing is when you dance around and move – while sitting in your chair.

You’re mostly doing arm movements, but also some leg exercises – and your middle gets movement, too! There are DVD courses you can take. This is especially good for elderly and disabled individuals or morbidly obese individuals who can’ get around easily, or at all.

Strength training is very important for good health. You lose more weight with more muscle because muscle burns more calories than fat does. You can strength train without injuring yourself and build up to increased reps, sets and weights over time.

Table games (such as ping pong) don’t sound like exercise, but they are! They’re considered low impact because both feet are on the ground, you don’t have to put stress on your body, and the best part is – they’re enjoyable!

Exercise bikes can be a great way to work in low impact exercise – as long as you choose to use one with low resistance. On most bikes, you set the resistance level, and if you do too much at once, you might strain your knees. Build up over time and enjoy the stationary bike in a gym or in the comfort of your own home.

Elliptical machines can give you a nice, hard workout, without any stress on your joints. The elliptical is preferred by may people over the treadmill because the treadmill has a hard surface and the shock of each step can hurt. With an elliptical, it’s like floating in air – but you’re moving and getting exercise benefits!

Rowing is a good way to firm up your body and burn calories. You can use a rowing machine in a gym or at home, but you can also take up a sport like kayaking to enjoy yourself more if you dread exercising.

Golf is a great sport to take up for some low impact exercise. Golfers of all ages enjoy this sport – from toddlers and senior citizens. You can walk and play 9-18 holes, or you can ride a cart and still get some of the benefits from each swing, and the steps you take to your ball, the green and the teebox.

Dancing can be a fun way to work in some low impact exercise. You can use dance in many ways, such as:

* Zumba (or other dance) classes
* Kinect or Wii dance games
* Dance DVDs
* Random dancing around the house

There are no right or wrong ways to work in low impact exercise. It’s all about getting some movement during your day. You want to push yourself a little bit, but you should never physically be in pain when doing this type of workout regimen.

Who Needs Low Impact Exercise?

Senior citizens are often the primary demographic for low impact exercises. As we age, our minds and bodies are not as agile as they once were. We’re prone to fractures if we fall, and low impact exercise helps you retain movement without putting yourself at risk.

Injured individuals who have suffered from a specific injury – or those experiencing pain from a disability – are perfect for low impact exercise, especially during a recovery period.

Whether you’re restricted to a wheelchair or you have the ability to stand and move, you can enjoy low impact exercise and gain cardiovascular, muscular and additional health benefits from your efforts.

Arthritis sufferers often feel a lot of pain in their joints. Every movement can be painful, so high impact exercise may be out of the question. Moving your body gently and slowly can enable you to exercise without pain.

Heavily overweight can suffer from orthopedic injuries if they set out on a high impact exercise regimen right off the bat. The best way for you to go about it is to ease into a fitness role through activities like walking and swimming.

Pregnant women are often unable to engage in high impact exercise. When you’re pregnant, you can sometimes lose sight of your core balance, and low impact exercise helps prevent falls until the baby arrives.

Not only that, but you’ll tire more easily when you’re pregnant, and low impact exercise helps you work in movement – plus, it ensures the baby will be safe from harm compared to dangerous activities you may have done before you conceived.

There’s another group of people who fit the demographic for low impact exercise – beginners! You never want to engage in difficult, advanced exercise when you’re new because you can injure yourself.

Health Benefits of Low Impact Exercise

There are many benefits to low impact exercise. Exercise in general is good for you, and when you’re stationary, your body can’t fight disease and repair itself as well as when you get your blood flowing.

Low impact exercise helps with depression. If you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, stress or depression, then you know the common feeling that happens with them.

You feel paralyzed, you might feel lethargic – basically, you don’t want to move! You especially don’t have the heart to embrace a high impact, exhausting routine.

So a low impact exercise regimen can help release endorphins in your body and give you some hope and happiness during your day. It will be even better if you engage in things you find fun (like dancing or swimming), or sign up for low impact exercise where you’re socializing with others (like dance lessons)!

Low impact exercise improves your reflexes. This can be perfect for those who have suffered an injury – as well as the elderly population who has started to see some decline in this area of their lives.

This form of exercise helps with cardiovascular health, even if you’re not vigorously moving about. All you’re doing it shooting for your target heart rate, and with high impact activities, you usually go way over that target rate.

Low impact exercise helps lower your blood pressure. Whenever you exercise, you’re strengthening your heart. The heart needs to be strong to pump blood vigorously through your body without working so hard, and exercise helps it get strong.

Weight loss is an obvious benefit to low impact exercise. Any time you’re moving, you’re burning calories. Sedentary individuals are more prone to gain weight and become obese.

It might take a little longer than if you were to adopt a high impact regimen, but the overall long-term weight loss will be the same if you stick to it and exercise consistently.

Best Low Impact Exercise Equipment

Many people who have to (or want to) go on a low impact exercise routine don’t enjoy working out in public. But some love it for the socialization factor. If you don’t have a pool, you can join a place like your local YMCA to get aquatic movement.

As for machines that help you with low impact workouts, you can either use these machines in the gym (with or without supervision by a trainer), or invest in good equipment for your home and do your exercise every day without excuse.

Ellipticals are the most sought after low impact machines. You can either invest in the foot pedals only, or get a full-scale machine that includes movement for your arms.

Stationary exercise bikes are perfect for low impact exercise. You have two choices – recumbent or upright. A recumbent bike allows you to sit in more of a bucket seat, where you’re slightly reclined. An upright bike is what you would use when cycling outdoors, only this one is an indoor, stationary version.

Rowing machines are wonderful total body low impact workouts. You can get regular rowers that work with magnets, or you can invest in a water rower that uses fluid as the primary resistance factor.

Stair steppers and stair climbers are loved by many low impact exercise enthusiasts. You might think that stepping up stairs would be high impact, since it tends to wear many people out, but the impact on your joints is actually small.

Of course, you do have the option of increasing the resistance if you start to believe the machine has become too easy on your body – and this is a milestone that you’ll be happy to achieve.

Whether you simply hate exercising or you have a valid reason for avoiding high impact workouts, you’ll enjoy becoming addicted to fun, low impact exercise routines that get your heart pumping without causing you to wake up the next morning, barely able to move due to stiffness.

Exercise Equipment for the Office

In the morning, chances are you’re feeling rushed. You have to get yourself ready, take care of the kids, and then hurry and get to work before your day begins.

By the time your work is done for the day, you’re often too tired, you have to feed the family, help with homework, and try to get to bed on time to do it all again the next day.

That kind of hectic schedule leaves little time for squeezing in some exercise, and in fact most people use lack of time as their primary excuse for not working out.

More and more people are using their office to get fit! You can be bold and blunt about it, or hide the fact that you’re secretly burning calories beneath your desk where no one can see.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a great way to build strength and muscle and fight fat in the workplace. You can get these sets with or without a door attachment, depending on your needs.

Anytime you need to brainstorm or have a call on speaker, you can utilize your resistance bands and no one will be any wiser that you’re in the middle of a nice workout routine!

Store the resistance bands easily in your desk drawer – they take up very little space. These will help you release tension and stress throughout your day so that you don’t drag it home with you after work.

The resistance bands can be used for a nice total body workout. You can use it for your arms by gripping the bands with your hands and stretching it as far as possible, holding the position, and slowly releasing it.

You can also use them for back stretches, leg stretches, and for making your hands feel better if you suffer from pain due to excessive keyboard usage. You’ll be toning and firming up on a regular basis and becoming stronger along the way.

Office Chair Exercise System

An office chair can get cumbersome after awhile of sitting in it each day. Your back can begin to ache, your legs hurt – all because you’re forced to sit at a desk all day instead of get any sort of movement.

There are resistance chairs that have bands built into the actual chair. You don’t even need to get up. So if you’re stuck reading or researching, you can use the bands as you work.

This is a low impact workout you can do every day, and these chairs are compact and fold up easily in case you need to use it occasionally and use a regular office chair at other times.

These chairs offer you a great posture setting, and arm (and sometimes leg) bands that help you stretch and tone throughout the day. Make sure you get one with a good cushion for seating and one with non-skid legs.

Balance Ball

Back pain is a result of having to sit in uncomfortable office chairs – and it affects many workplace employees. Lower back pain can be crippling, so you want to enjoy a seating method that not only prevents injuries like this, but that delivers fitness benefits as well.

A balance ball, sometimes commonly called a Yoga ball, can help you strengthen your core and build your abdominal muscles. Many people find that they have increased mental abilities when they’re sitting on a balance since they’re not splitting their focus on discomfort.

You can get a ball that’s just on its own, or one of the newer balance ball chairs where it’s a steady chair with the ball built in as the seat cushion. If you’re on the ball that’s not in a chair, you’ll have more flexibility to sneak in exercise throughout your day.

Sit properly on the ball by finding the spot where you feel most balanced. Sit up straight and sit with your feet apart to keep you steady. Pull your abs inward and see how long you can maintain your balance.

This is a skill that improves over time. It’s not just a comfy seat like a bean bag chair – it’s an exercise, so expect it to take some work at first before you master it.

BOSU Balance Trainer

The BOSU balance trainer almost looks like someone took a balance ball, cut it in half, and glued it to a flat board. But in reality, it’s a piece of equipment that could nicely fit in your office and help you get some much-needed exercise!

You can sit and do ab workouts, do lunges on it, and much more using a BOSU ball. This is another piece of equipment to help strengthen your core muscles. It’s another one that many users report as having improved their mental clarity.

Dumbbells

Dumbbells in a gym setting are convenient ways to conduct a strength training routine. But usually, there’s a rack with sets of dumbbells on them. This isn’t as inviting when you’re talking about having it in your office space.

You can remedy this by investing in some that don’t take up much space – or those that are adjustable in nature. Dumbbells help you gain muscle and lose fat. You can do these exercises while you’re on the phone or doing almost any work in the office.

If you have to type a lot, then you might consider getting a tool like Dragon Naturally Speaking so that you can speak while using dumbbells and let the tool transcribe what you say into a word processor.

You could get a pair of Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells where you have one single pair of dumbbells that can be adjusted (dialed up) anywhere from 5 pounds all the way to 52.5 pounds.

Kettlebells

Kettlebells are another popular piece of weight training equipment that you can take to the office. Kettlebells have you swinging the equipment for some exercises, so this is best if you have plenty of workspace in your office.

You can get an individual kettlebell for the amount you’re able to lift – or you can invest in a complete set that starts out at about 10 pounds and goes all the way up to 25 or more.

Just like the dumbbells where you dial up the amount of weight you want to lift, they have kettlebells that do the same thing. Take the Stamina 36-pound Adjustable Kettle Versa-Bell, for example.

This cast-iron tool with steel plates has six total weights starting at 16 pounds and increasing in increments of four pounds up to 36 pounds total. So as your fitness level grows at work, you can adjust your equipment to grow with you!

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reported a study where workers participated in a kettlebell workout and not only did their physical abilities improve, but so did their job satisfaction! So it’s an exercise that feeds your mind, not just your body.

Mini Trampoline

A mini trampoline folds up and easily fits in any space – including a cubicle or office space! Jumping on a mini trampoline is a fun, low impact activity that helps you rev up your heartbeat and burn calories.

That can run anywhere from $40 to $400 and up. You want one that can accommodate your size and weight, as well as the space you have. Make sure you read the dimensions and capabilities.

You might want a mini trampoline that has a stabilizing bar. This is a bar that helps you keep your balance while jumping, if you worry about that. Get one that you can remove so that once your core is capable, you can jump without holding on.

There are some rebounders (another name for mini trampoline) that have built in resistance bands to help you tone your arms while you jump. Some people just jump while working with small hand weights.

Treadmill Desk

More and more people are seeking out manufactured treadmill desks. Before they were on the market, some people made their own – a way to work and use a desk while on the treadmill.

Now this type of contraption isn’t for people who are running at a 5 or higher speed. In fact, most people using a product like the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk are only going 1 mph.

The benefit comes in the fact that they’re walking all day – or for many hours, without breaking a sweat. They can speak on the phone without being out of breath, drink coffee or water, and type and work without any problems.

These kinds of desks fit right over your treadmill, but there are also stationary bike desks if you prefer that to a treadmill. The FitDesk Semi-Recumbent Pedal Desk is a good example of this.

This isn’t as big as a TrekDesk, but it does have enough room for you to place a laptop on the desk and work while you get your exercise. With the TrekDesk, you’re responsible for buying your own treadmill, since this is the desk only – but with the FitDesk, the bike and desk come as a pair, so there’s no extra cost to you.

Pedaling System

If you want the benefits of biking, without the large space hog that a recumbent bike can be, then you might want to consider a pedaling exerciser. These are the pedals only – and they fit discreetly right under your desk so that you can get a good workout while you work!

You can get them where you have adjustable resistance so that as your legs become more fit, and your strength grows, you can keep pushing yourself to the next level of health and endurance.

Chin Up Bar

A chin up bar is something some people may want to own in the office. Others wouldn’t be caught dead doing it. This is a gadget that fits right on the door and allows you to work o your upper body strength all day long.

One good example is the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar. Using this piece of equipment, you can do chin ups, but you can also do pull ups, push ups, dips and crunches.

This isn’t something that you have to install, either. You just put it up in the doorway and it holds in place. You can grip is differently, according to your preferences during your workout, too.

Put it on the floor in order to do your push ups or dips. It’s a multi-tool for you that lets you get a good deal of exercise You can use it on a whim and it’s so small that it stores nicely in any cubicle or office.

Going to work each day and coming home too exhausted to add movement to your day is normal. It’s also something you need to correct. It’s not okay to spend your life sitting in a desk chair working your mind, but not your body.

Make it a point to add exercise into your workday. Walk to deliver a message instead of emailing. Park far away from the building on sunny days – and take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Ask your boss if they have or would be willing to implement a health and fitness program at the office. Point out the fact that exercise increases productivity and job satisfaction.

Take small, easy to store exercise equipment to the workplace so that even if your boss doesn’t want anything to do with exercise, you retain total control over your own health.