October 09, 2017

Low-impact cardio exercise is defined as any activity that elevates heart rate without placing unnecessary stress on the joints and tendons. This usually implies keeping at least one foot planted on the ground at all times.

Low-impact cardio workouts are an important complement to activities such as running for any athlete or fitness enthusiast. But they are especially crucial to anyone who is recovering from an injury. These exercises can allow you to stay in good shape and avoid tightness without aggravating your injury or risking the development of a new problem. Here are 7 of the most popular low-impact workouts that you should consider incorporating into your fitness routine:

  • Walking/hiking.One of the simplest workouts in existence, these options are perfect for anyone in the early stages of recovery. Though a short walk through your neighborhood can suffice, you may wish to head to a nearby state park, where rugged terrain and captivating views can make for a more challenging (and more enjoyable) experience. 
  • Elliptical training/stair climbing.Like walking, this is a good way of elevating your heart rate and working important leg muscles without the harsh impact of running. Ellipticals and stair climbers offer the added benefit of increased resistance, providing an extra challenge for your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and even your upper core. 
  • Cycling.Whether on a bicycle or a bike machine, biking offers a chance to work your cardiovascular and respiratory systems as hard as you'd like without putting excessive strain on your knees, ankles, feet, or back.
  • Rowing.One of the most complete workout activities out there, rowing works the hamstrings, the core, the back, and the arms in a sustainable, low-stress manner. Though actual rowing can be tremendously fun and surprisingly affordable, simulated rowing in a gym can be just as effective.
  • Tai chi.The most widely popularized Chinese martial art, Tai Chi offers an incredible array of health benefits. These include: improved aerobic capacity, increased muscle strength, better flexibility, higher energy levels, reduced inflammation, and a decreased risk of experiencing falls. Tai chi also offers mental health benefits such as improved focus, better mood, and a reduced risk of depression and anxiety.
  • Pilates.Once looked down upon as just another fad workout craze, pilates have gained a lot of legitimacy in recent years, thanks in large part to promotion from successful athletes such as Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown.
  • Swimming and Water Aerobics.There is a reason why so many physical therapy programs are based around swimming and water aerobics. Water exercise allows for a full range of motion, it is incredibly versatile, and it helps promote healthy body weight, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, stress relief, and a number of other important health benefits.

 

If you are recovering from a foot, ankle, or toe injury, then complimenting your low-impact workout routine with therehabilitative power of The Oh Ball can help you make a faster, healthier comeback.