For many people, running and high impact exercises are completely out of the question, but that doesn’t mean that exercise is too. There are plenty of great options for those who are unable to participate in certain activities.
Walking and biking are excellent substitutions for running. The running track, elliptical, stationary bike, row machine, treadmill, and Stairmaster are all great alternatives if the outdoors aren’t an option.
There are a variety of modifications that can be done to almost any specific exercise that will eliminate some or all of the impact. Also, strength training is generally low impact, so try out some squats, bicep curls, or bench press. Try out some of the machines around the gym for a bit of variation.
Swimming is probably one of the best alternatives. Being in the water takes all the weight off of your joints and allows for a completely impact free workout. If you have shoulder issues, try a different swim stroke, or opt out and use a kickboard. If it’s your knees or hips, use a pull buoy and get a great upper body workout. Other options are aquafit and hydrobike classes at the pool.
Yoga and pilates are great impact-free ways to gain strength and flexibility. There are plenty of videos online and classes that will help you get the most out of your practice. There are also modifications for most poses that will allow it to be safe for you.
Exercise is great for both your physical and mental health. When injuries, age, and/or fitness level hinder you from participating in certain activities it can feel like you have no options, but that isn’t the case. Get out and give these low impact exercises a try.
Wellness Round Up:
A Science Daily article released a study done by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. stating that people with autoimmune diseases can benefit from low impact exercises that increase in difficulty overtime. Adults with autoimmune diseases that participate in low impact exercise see a reduction in fatigue, which is a common symptom with chronic autoimmune diseases.
Stephenie Sutherland is a Fort St. John student studying nutrition and food sciences.