Low impact cardio is a popular method among the elderly, but it can actually be beneficial to anyone (including you)! This type of workout includes exercises that do not put a lot of stress on your joints. Generally, they do not involve hard surfaces and have you with at least one foot on the ground at all times.
Examples of Low Impact Cardio:
- Rowing Machine
- Rock Climbing
- Hand Cycle/Upper Body Ergometer(UBE)
Keep in mind that just because the form of cardio being done is low impact, it is up to the individual to moderate intensity. Almost anyone can benefit from this type of exercise, especially those who are dealing with an injury, those new to exercise, or those with severe musculoskeletal limitations.
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Swimming/Aquatic Exercise for example is one of the most popular forms of low impact cardio. Don’t mistake that for being an easy way to exercise, though! In water, the stresses of gravity are not put on joints and range of motion can be greatly increased. However, the movements can still be demanding on the body and help strengthen bones and muscles to be able to handle land exercises.
Choosing the ‘Right’ Type of Cardio
When trying to select the best type of cardio, keep in mind two things – limitations and fun (what you actually enjoy doing).
Limitations will do just that, limit your choices. If you are overweight, injured, or new to exercise, choose those that will help strengthen you without putting too much stress on your bones, joints, and tendons. This is where lower impact exercise are recommended.
Secondly and possibly most important, choose something you enjoy doing. The best form of cardio is that which you do consistently. No matter what you think or read on the internet, there is no one form of cardio that will reign king among others. You need to experiment and find different types to determine which one you will tolerate doing the most often.