Staying active and exercising is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle outside dietary choices. Regular moderate exercise reduces stress levels, boosts the immune system, improves sleep quality, and prevents weight gain. However, many people still don’t take advantage of these benefits and choose to live a sedentary life.
During the coronavirus pandemic, many people found it hard to exercise or maintain their current activity levels from the comfort of their homes. Unfortunately, exercise is more critical during the stressful times in which we live. This article will explore some high-impact and low-impact activities and tips to keep your body moving – even during times of uncertainty!
High Impact Activities
High-impact activities require both feet to leave the ground while exercising. These activities are often referred to as “high impact” because gravity returns the body to the ground. As the feet hit the ground, the resulting pressure is similar to carrying around twice your body weight. Some benefits of high-impact activities include improved bone density, increased stamina, increased heart rate, higher cardiovascular strength, and better balance or stability.
People who have pre-existing injuries, excessive weight, or joint conditions should only perform high-impact activities in moderation. While some will choose to avoid these types of exercises at all times, they can be highly beneficial when done based on individual comfort levels. Some of the activities that we recommend for those that are ready to get started with high-impact exercises include:
- Jumping Jacks
- Jumping Lunges
- Jumping Rope
- Squat Jumps
Low Impact Activities
Low Impact activities are characterized by their ability to keep at least one foot on the ground throughout the exercise. With this approach, the joints will absorb far less impact during the workout, making them an excellent strategy for those with chronic inflammatory conditions, pre-existing injuries, or novices just starting to work out regularly.
While the term “low-impact” may be misleading, you can still achieve a great workout without having both feet leave the ground simultaneously. Although, you may have to work a little harder to get the same results. But isn’t that a reasonable price to pay to ensure your joints aren’t affected, and you don’t risk an injury? Some of the activities that we recommend for those ready to get started with low-impact exercises include:
- Elliptical Machines
- Strength Training
Creating an Exercise Plan That Works for You
As you might imagine, creating a workout routine incorporating high and low-impact exercises can help strengthen various muscle groups while allowing the joints to rest at specific intervals. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to training, individuals must test what activities work best for their unique needs. The key is to start sitting less and making daily exercise a part of your routines to start living a healthy life.
It can often be tempting to skip workouts or lose motivation due to circumstances outside your control. However, there are many great resources and activities that you can utilize from the comfort of your own home or neighborhood. Understanding this can help remove many of the potential barriers that are holding you back from actually going to the gym.
For some people, this could mean simply walking around the neighborhood, riding a bicycle, or finding a nearby trail that meets your difficulty level. Not only will these activities get your blood pumping, but they will also significantly boost your mental health to provide even more motivation when done regularly.
If you like the gym’s atmosphere but don’t feel like you have the time needed to travel there and still do a great workout, consider investing in at-home programs that provide the same feel and intensity. Purchasing dumbbells or resistance bands are a great way to start investing in your health.
Creating an exercise plan that works for you can take some time and dedication to perfect. So, it’s vital to ensure you get at least 35-60 minutes of exercise daily. That is true even if it is spread throughout the day into short bursts. Create an approach that works for you and makes sense.
For instance, you could eat your lunch while walking around the neighborhood or stop by the gym for a short weight training session on your way home from work. Remember to listen to your body and not go too hard at first!
Ready to Make a Change?
It can be challenging to start a new exercise program without the correct mindset or support systems. We provide individualized treatment for your low back pain with a natural gentle approach. If you have questions regarding which exercises are best for your body, request your appointment today and let our chiropractors help you start your path to better health!