Low-impact exercise places a minimal amount of stress upon the joints in your knees, hips, and ankles. Unlike high-impact exercises such as running and CrossFit, low impact exercises are great for slowly building up strength and muscle endurance overtime, long-term weight loss, and building up your cardiovascular system.
These workouts place emphasis on skills such as balance, strength, stretching, and alignment. They are great for people who are overweight, elderly, pregnant or injured. As we age, we can expect to experience a decrease in lean muscle mass over time. For pregnant women, low impact exercises can relieve discomfort and prepare your body for labor and delivery. If you suffer from chronic pain or bad joints, it may be tempting to halt exercising altogether, but in reality, this is just asking for reduced circulation and higher inflammation — this even more pain.
Whether you’re simply wanting to take it easy or your circumstances prevent you from a high-intensity workout, low-impact outdoors activities are for anyone and everyone. They will help your mind as well as your body!
If there’s one thing we have plenty of in this area, it’s water! Visit the Ocoee River, Hiwasse River, or even the Tennessee River, grab a kayak, and start paddling. If you practice proper form, kayaking plays upon the key muscles in your arms, back, and core. If you do it right, you can burn up to 400 calories in one hour. As an added bonus, the views on the river are SO much better than the views in your local gym. We’re sure.
Walking is easily the most popular low-impact exercise. Especially recommended for the elderly, walking can be done outdoors to really engage the senses, appreciate the changing seasons, and receive your daily dose of vitamin D. If the weather is gross or too cold, you can even walk around your local mall. If it becomes too easy, you can always challenge yourself by walking up flights of stairs, a hill in your neighborhood, or even by adding hand weights.
Golf may not seem like an obvious choice, but a trip to the fairway is a great activity for all ages — not just for professionals and retired older men. Golfing improves balance, strength, and flexibility, plus, most people find it entertaining, too. If you’d like to increase your cardio, ditch the golf cart and move your legs!
Though we’re biased towards the water, Outland can’t say enough about swimming. If you’re in the Ocoee-area, we recommend utilizing Red Clay Resort across the state line in Cohutta, Georgia. If you’re looking to get into shape over the summer, this pool provides it all. You’ll get your workout in a clean, chlorinated, spring-fed pool while also getting your tan on and vitamin-D. Water is nearly 800x more dense than air, so swimming packs a real punch. It sculpts your entire body and offers considerable cardiovascular perks. In the winter, check out your local wellness center or the YMCA. If you’re not into swimming laps, start out with a water aerobics class.
Skip the studio. Grab your mat and take your practice outdoors. Yoga is not just a great workout for your balance and core strength, but it’s downright rejuvenating and relaxing. Purge all the stress from your life and discover the mood booster you’ve been waiting for.
If you’re so inclined, try bicycling. If you live in a safe and supportive community, we recommend biking as your main source of transportation. This exercise is environmentally-friendly, so you can get your exercise while on your daily commute. The physical and mental health benefits of biking are as endless as the scenic route throughout East Tennessee. Make sure your bike is properly fitted, or you’ll lose the benefits to your joints!
Finally, there’s good news for you, green thumbs! Gardening is a lot more strenuous than just picking a few flowers — it’s an excellent low-impact exercise as well that provides endurance, flexibility, and strength benefits – similar to cardio or lifting weights. Some gardening activities, such as raking and watering, can burn between 150-300 calories in only 30 minutes. Plus, you could even grow your own organic food to add nutrition to your “workout.” It’s food for thought!
Have a wonderful week!
—Outland Expeditions, Inc.
BOOK YOUR RAFTING TRIP ON THE OCOEE RIVER WITH OUTLAND EXPEDITIONS, HERE!
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