Keeping fit and healthy through regular exercise is a crucial part of our overall quality of life and has countless benefits to both our physical and mental wellbeing.
However, heading out for a 5k run or hopping on a bike for a long-distance cycle isn’t always that easy for people suffering with more sensitive joints. Heavy impact exercise can become very difficult and painful, as well as potentially leading to more serious injuries and long-term damage - something we should absolutely avoid where possible.
So where does that leave those of us who are still keen to remain fit and active, but struggle with heavy-impact activities?
It’s important to remember there are plenty of alternatives out there and low-impact exercise can be just as effective in keeping you strong and healthy - as well as ensuring your body and joints have the right amount of time to recover and repair in between sessions.
Here’s our breakdown of the best low-impact exercises to try and, you can always introduce a food supplement in addition to your diet from Seven Seas JointCare range which contains vitamin D to support bones and the maintenance of normal muscle function from the inside.
It might sound simple but walking every day is a brilliantly effective way to burn extra calories, boost your stamina and give you a healthier heart - as well as providing the perfect opportunity to get outdoors more.
The NHS recommends trying its 10,000 steps challenge - which encourages everyone to walk at least 10,000 steps every single day. Considering the average person only walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps on an average day1, it’s a big increase but has big benefits to go with it!
What’s more, hitting 10,000 steps each day is much easier than you might think and there’s lots of small changes you can make to your everyday lifestyle to help you hit your target. Why not try some of the below and invest in a pedometer to track your progress:
o Get off the bus or tube a stop early and walk the rest of the way
o Always take the stairs rather than an escalator
o Pop out on your lunch break for a stroll rather than eating at your desk
o Get up and walk to your colleague’s desks in the office rather than calling or emailing
o Leave the car at home for quick trips and errands - walk instead
Swimming is a great full-body workout that puts almost all of your muscles hard to work at the same time. Because the water takes almost 90% of your body weight2 it means that you’re avoiding putting any pressure on joints so you can reduce the risk of unnecessary strain or discomfort.
In addition, just 30 minutes of swimming three times per week can boost your energy levels through increased metabolic rate2. So the chances are, if you give it a go, you’ll could feel more awake, alert and energetic.
Pilates is known for muscle strengthening and conditioning - as well as having numerous positive impacts for overall mental health and wellbeing. It has a particular focus on the body’s core muscles so it helps build stamina and balance, while improving muscle tone and flexibility.
Like yoga, there’s lots of different forms of Pilates so you have the option to try a few different styles to find the one you prefer. Generally all forms take place on a mat, however unlike yoga, Pilates does incorporate some apparatus or equipment such as magic circles or hand weights.
The best thing about it is that it can be tailored to all levels and abilities - so even if you’ve never tried it before, you’ll always be able to find a pace that suits you. And finally, it’s renowned for its stress and tension relieving properties so can help you feel calmer and more relaxed both while you’re practising and afterwards - what’s not to love!3