Fitness is more than just lifting weights, losing weight and getting toned. A well-rounded fitness routine improves and maintains the health of your cardiovascular system. This is extremely important. If your cardiovascular system isn't healthy, you aren't healthy. But, getting a good cardio workout doesn't have to mean high impact activities that can be hard on the knees and joints.
What Is Low-impact Cardio?
Low-impact cardio is exercise that raises heart rate and gets your blood pumping without putting too much pressure on your body. Examples of high-impact cardio would be running or jumping. There are plenty of exercises that you can do to get your cardiovascular system in shape without hurting your knees or other parts of the body.
What Are Some Low-impact Cardio Options?
Whether you want to give your body a rest, or you need to avoid high impact exercises for other reasons, here are some low-impact activities you can do to get in shape:
1. Walking. This is first on the list because it is one of the best things you can do. The human body is meant for walking. Walking is suitable for just about any fitness level and is good for your heart as well as your body. If you want to turn up the heat a bit, try walking uphill or walking with hand or ankle weights.
2. Swimming. Swimming is a great way to work out your entire body and get some cardio in without putting any pressure on your joints.
3. Yoga. There is a yoga routine for just about any fitness level, from beginning to master. Gentle, easygoing yoga is good for the body and mind, and if you want to work up a sweat, there are some pretty intense types of yoga that will give you a serious workout that is still easy on the joints.
4. Cycling. Whether you take your bicycle and hit the road, or you hit the stationary bikes at the gym, cycling is a great way to get your cardio in.
5. Rowing. Again, this can be done at the gym, or on the water. This is a surprisingly vigorous workout that puts no stress on your joints.
6. Elliptical machine. If you really want to work up a sweat, this machine is the one to do it, and it's gentle on the body.
Exercise doesn't have to be hard on the body to be effective. If you have specific fitness goals, but don't know where to start, a personal trainer can give you the guidance you need. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club has been working with clients for years, helping them get fit and stay motivated.
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