Low Impact Vs High Impact Exercises – Which One To Choose?
To anyone who has an inactive lifestyle, increased physical activity can be a torture. For this exact reason most people who are living a sedentary life are overweight or obese.
The mere mention of the word exercise would probably have them running the other way.
At the other end of the spectrum are people who are into exercise.
People who are serious about losing weight favor going to the gym. Physical activity is a must to shed off the extra pounds in a safe and healthy way.
Low Impact Exercises
Low impact exercises can promote fitness without affecting bones and joints too much.
One can get their physical activity from walking, stretching, cycling, climbing stairs and engaging in sports.
You can do it practically any time, at home or in the office.
You should always start with low impact exercises. Whether you are a beginner in sports or returning after a long break, joints and muscles are not accustomed to heavy loads and injuries can quickly occur.
For this reason you need to start with lighter exercises so that the body has time to get used to the strain.
Low impact exercises are also the first choice for the elderly or for people who have joint problems or injuries.
Alternative to Low Impact Exercises
This is best for people with bone or musculoskeletal disorders. The water provides the right amount of resistance for people recovering from an injury.
You do not need to climb mountains as wall climbing can now be done indoors. It is a very good full-body exercise as it works on strengthening your upper and lower extremities and improves balance and coordination.
This is perhaps the most fun and least expensive type of low impact activity and a full-body work out at that. All you need is a fast beat and you are off to your workout.
This can be done alone or with a group, indoor or out in the water. If you are bored with running then rowing can be an alternative
This is good for both the mind and body. It promotes balance and core strength as it improves breathing. It focuses the mind as it strengthens the bones due to the weight bearing.
High Impact Exercises
If you are not a fan of sets and repetitions, you would be surprised to know that a high impact work out does not need to be restricted to plyometrics.
By definition, a high impact exercise can be any type of work out where a flight phase is present. A flight phase refers to moment when both feet are off the ground.
The best examples of high impact activities include running, jump rope or jumping jacks. Some of the more popular sports are high impact like badminton or tennis.
Benefits Of High Impact Exercises
Improve bone health
High impact exercises can improve bone strength and density. This is a good alternative to weight or resistance training, which would require you to go to the gym on a regular basis.
But high impact exercises are not recommended for people already suffering from a bone disease.
High impact activities can keep the mind alert, enhance coordination and promote agility, endurance and balance.
See also: Core Stability Exercises For Beginners
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Is High Impact Exercise Bad For You?
Well, it can be. Here are main drawbacks.
- Increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders
- High impact activities can be tough on joint cartilage. They can also cause stress fractures.
- Not for everybody
- People with heart and bone disease cannot do high impact activities unless they are cleared by their doctors.
Low Impact Vs High Impact Exercises
Physical fitness can be achieved whether you are exercising in the gym religiously or just taking up a fun sport that you are happy with.
For example, if you want to run a marathon, you will need to have a lot of low impact training organized over a long period of time.
If you have goals such as losing weight or gaining strength, a combination of different training intensities is recommended.
The most important thing to remember is that every body is different and that needed results may come with a different type of training.
However, everyone should warm up before exercise to avoid injuries.
But, no matter if you are practicing low impact or high impact exercises, the end result will be just the same: a healthy body and a sound mind – and who could say no to that?