Running is a natural choice when it comes to exercises for burning calories and improving your cardiovascular health. There are certainly an abundance of benefits to be had from this endeavor, but it is high-impact and places stressful forces on your feet and ankles. When you are working out to get into—or stay in—shape, the last thing you want to do is become hurt while doing so. A smart way to decrease the risk of injury is to incorporate low-impact exercises into your workout routine.
Mixing activities like walking, cycling, and swimming into your exercise program will go a long way towards improving and maintaining your joint health. Here at Dallas Podiatry Works, we want you to know what kind of options exist for supplementing and enhancing your fitness program.
There are a host of reasons why walking is an exceptional choice, but let’s start with the necessary equipment – you and a pair of shoes. That’s not a particularly intimidating list, is it? Now, let’s look at where and when you can do this particular activity – anywhere, anytime. You have freedom to walk whenever, wherever you want (within reason).
It’s clear that walking can be easy to do, but how does it help? There are several factors that affect the actual amount of calories that you burn—your weight, speed, terrain—but it engages most muscles in your body and offers an array of physical benefits. Better sleep, improved mood, and reduced risk of disease, all without placing a tremendous amount of impact on your joints!
You can take away stress from your hips, knees, and back, while still burning calories, by using an elliptical machine at the gym or home. This low-impact exercise is an easy way for you to begin to develop cardiovascular conditioning, especially when done in a progressive fashion. Start at an easy interval and then gradually build up your levels of duration and intensity. If you have been training, you can jump in at a higher level.
If you enjoy the fresh air of the great outdoors and are looking for a workout that burns more calories than walking, but without the high-impact that comes with running, you should take up cycling. This exercise will cost more than walking—you do need to buy a bike and helmet—but it can be a fantastic investment in your health.
Much like running or walking, the equipment necessary for swimming is rather minimal—you just need a swimsuit, goggles, and maybe a swim cap—but the benefits are outstanding. Swimming is an activity that slims and tones your entire body. You essentially burn the same number of calories that you would from walking, except in half the time!
Since your body is supported by the water, this activity can be beneficial for those who have joint issues, suffer from arthritis, or are overweight. In addition to offering cardiovascular training, this particular exercise also offers the potential for you to improve your muscle mass.
Perhaps swimming laps is not particularly appealing to you, or it seems a bit daunting. Water aerobics is a fantastic low-impact exercise performed in a classroom-style fashion. The instructor will typically lead a program that is designed to target your entire body and promote overall wellness. Do not worry about having a limited swimming ability – these classes are often held in the shallow end of a pool!
This workout that utilizes Latin-inspired dancing to burn calories was developed in the 1990’s and has since blossomed into quite a popular fitness craze. For those individuals who find running or swimming to be tedious and uninteresting, Zumba provides a fun, social alternative.
No matter if you are interested in decreasing your risk of injury or if you are rehabbing from one and want to stay in shape, low-impact exercise can be the answer you are seeking. If you want to learn more about these types of workouts which preserve your joint health and find out which are right for you, contact Dallas Podiatry Works by calling us at 972.566.7474 or schedule an appointment with our convenient online request form.