If you’re recovering from an injury or limited in your ability to participate in high impact exercises due to age or chronic medical condition, there are still some great low impact exercise options at the gym. These exercises will put less strain on your knees, hips, ankles, and back and still get your heart pumping and your body burning calories.
Indoor Cycling / Spinning Class
If you’re not into biking outdoors, many gyms have stationary exercise bikes and classes available for people to work on their endurance, increase their muscle strength, and burn calories. Taking a class also provides an element of accountability and encouragement to keep going.
An elliptical puts less stress on your legs than a treadmill and, depending on the machine, gives you the added benefit of toning your arms as well. Because your legs, knees, and joints are moving in an elliptical motion, this exercise reduces the strain on your body.
Yoga / Stretching Class
This low impact exercise not only increases your body’s flexibility; it helps reduce overall stress and helps your body maintain physically fit. Many people who practice yoga experience a sense of spiritual health.
A recumbent bike places you in a reclining position, comfortably distributing your weight over a larger area rather than focusing all of our weight on the sitting muscles. These bikes provide better posture for the spine and help to work out the quadriceps, which are responsible for flexing your knees.
Swimming / Water Aerobics
Swimming laps in the pool works out your entire body, but if laps seem boring, some gyms provide aerobics classes that take place in the pool. Being surrounded by water significantly reduces the amount of stress placed on your body’s muscles, and the exercise you perform in the water is high intensity, which means your body is getting a serious workout.
The next time you’re at the gym, be sure to try some of these low impact exercises and keep yourself healthy with a low risk of injury.
Check out some great strengthening videos from Ask Dr. Jo on YouTube:
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