There is the common misperception that exercise must take a long time and be painful in order to be effective. While a good workout should be a bit of a challenge, it doesn’t need to hurt to be beneficial. Furthermore, research suggests that a moderate-intensity, low impact activity such as yoga or walking, is just as effective as high impact activity in lowering the risk of conditions such as heart disease. Low impact exercises – which can improve your health and fitness without harming weight bearing joints – are perfect for individuals who are:
have injured joints, bones, or connective tissue injuries
have chronic problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or stress fractures
are new to exercise
Effective low impact cardiovascular exercise should allow the heart rate of the participant to reach a level greater than 50 percent of its maximum. Low impact cardiovascular exercises generally have low physical risk and are effective for general fitness.
To find low impact activities, look for anything that involves intense stretching and strengthening components. According to The National Institutes of Health at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/, walking and swimming are both perfect examples.
Recommended activity levels:
Adults: 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week.
Children: 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day.
Targets can be achieved with 10 minute bursts of activity spread throughout the day.
Have a wonderfully hot weekend! Pamela