Today’s guest post was written by Alek Sabin
Exercise is a crucial component for maintaining solid physical health. In fact, it’s great for your mental health too, and can have such a powerful effect that it’s often recommended by doctors to treat depression, anxiety, and even addiction.
Everybody is aware of this, but it’s also important to note that some exercises can take a larger toll on the human body than others. Running a mile every day is going to do wonders for lowering your cholesterol and burning calories, but runners are also more liable to damage their joints, over time, than the average person.
For this reason, it’s good to find gentle exercises that you can continue to practice well into old age, so you can keep up your physical fitness without sacrificing longevity.
Cycling has a lot of the same benefits as running does, but it comes with significant less joint damage, and takes a minimal toll on your body. Your joints and muscles won’t suffer from too much wear and tear from cycling, but it is still an intense workout that is able to get your heart rate up.
In addition to being a great cardio workout, cycling also builds strength in your legs, especially your quads. Also, as well as using a cycling machine, you can get your cycling exercise in by simply fixing up the old bicycle and using it as a form of transportation.
Rowing and Kayaking
Another great alternative to heavy impact exercises, such as running, are rowing exercises, such as working out on a rowing machine or going kayaking. Rowing is a comprehensive workout that does wonders for a variety of muscles, including your arms, legs, back, shoulders, and core. Rowing is also a cardio exercise, in addition to strength exercise, which helps improve your heart rate and burns nearly 500 calories per hour.
The key to rowing is that you need to make sure that you have the right posture and technique when doing it, or it is possible your could tweak your back, which would keep you from exercising for a while.
For people who struggle with joint damage, yoga is a tremendous exercise that helps inflammation in the joints, and is about as minimal of a contact exercise as you can get. Far from a cakewalk, yoga is also an intense workout that increases strength, balance, and mobility for individuals. It also has great benefits on the mindfulness side of things, as it encourages healthy breathing, gratitude, positive thinking, and forgiveness.
Swimming is essentially the definition of a low impact exercise, as the resistance of the water on your body makes it so that there is never any significant impact on your joints. However, that same resistance makes swimming an incredible workout that pushes every muscle in your body to the extreme, if you push yourself. Swimming has been shown to have many of the same cardiovascular benefits of running, but also lost more weight and developed more strength in the same amount of time.
An elliptical machine essentially allows you to do the motions of running, but makes for a better workout because you never need to slam your feet down on the ground, thus harming your joints. Instead, an elliptical places resistance on your legs and arms for the entirety of your workout, which means that you can tone your entire body while you are doing your cardio for the day.
A common misconception about strength and weight training is that it puts a lot of wear and tear on your body. However, strength training is low workout and can be an exercise that you consistently do into old age without much damage to your body, if you’re doing it right.
The only reason that some people neglect strength training as a gentle workout is that it doesn’t have the same impact on burning calories as many of these other exercise options.
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