The term low impact refers to exercises that involve one foot always staying in contact with the ground. This type of exercise places minimal stress on the joints in your knees, ankles and hips. These exercises are recommended for people who are: new to exercise, older adults, suffering from osteoporosis or arthritis, injured (bone, joint or connective tissue), pregnant, and obese. Low impact exercise benefits people suffering from obesity by improving their flexibility, decreasing pain experienced during workouts, producing less stress on the joints, and increasing strength.
Exercises That Are Low Impact
There are many exercises, that are defined as being low impact, that obese people can perform to improve their health. These exercises can be performed with or without equipment. Walking, hiking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, aqua jogging, water aerobics, most step aerobics, dancing and body resistance exercises are some of the low impact exercises that can be performed without any special equipment. Some that may require minimum equipment to large machines include most strength training exercises, elliptical machines, cycling, rowing machines, kayaking, stair stepping machine, rollerblading and cross-country skiing.
People suffering from obesity can benefit greatly from improved flexibility. Increased flexibility reduces back pain, improves circulation, reduce muscle stress and tension, increases range of motion and prevents injury. Some low impact exercises that help with flexibility are tai chi, yoga and Pilates.
Decreased Pain Obese Experience During Workouts
High impact exercises for obese people can be extremely painful. Being obese and trying to perform these types of exercise greatly increases the pain you experience during and after a workout. On the other hand, low impact exercises are actually recommended as part of pain management programs for people who suffer from chronic pain and medical conditions like fibromyalgia. Water activities such as swimming, water aerobics and aqua jogging are among the best exercises that obese people can perform to prevent pain during exercise, as the water supports their weight. Other good options are walking, using recumbent bikes and using elliptical machines.
Easier on Obese People's Joints
Obese people have been known to experience pain in their back, feet, knees, and hips after performing high impact exercises. They also experience severe soreness and fatigue of the muscles. Even when a person is in a healthy weight range, these exercises apply greater force against the joints, spine, muscles, ligaments, tendons and other connective tissues. Obese people should choose to perform low impact exercises instead, as they involve exerting less force on the joints.
Improved Strength in Obese
You have heard the saying muscle burns more calories than fat. Like everyone else, obese people starting an exercise regime wants to incorporate some sort of weight training. Most people assume that high impact exercises are the best ones for building muscle. The truth is that most weight training exercises are low impact exercises, so it is not necessary to perform high impact exercises to obtain the benefits of muscle gain.
Choosing to go lower impact is the best option for people suffering from obesity. These exercises can be performed with or without equipment and offer many benefits. Low impact exercises help to improve flexibility, decrease the pain experienced during workouts, are less stressful on joints, and increase muscle strength. An obese person wishing to start an exercise program should consult with their doctor to find out which exercises are right for them.