When people think of exercise, they often imagine hours at the gym lifting weights or running on a treadmill. They think of heavy breathing and liters of sweat. While with a heavier workout maybe you'll reach your goal sooner but, there are good reasons to get involved in low-intensity exercises. Such exercises are perfect for people who are just starting an exercise routine or people looking to supplement their routine without overstraining themselves. There are plenty of exercises to choose from.
Walking is a simple way to get your exercise without signing up for a gym. Just 30 minutes every day can give you significant cardiovascular benefits over time. Taking a short, brisk walk after a meal can help you control your blood sugar. For the most benefit, you want to walk at a pace where you are breathing a bit heavier but can still hold a conversation with a walking partner.
Exercise can be a challenge for people with pre-existing injuries or joint issues. Swimming is a great option for cardio that works out the whole body without putting a strain on your joints, feet or back. As Chirp points out, swimming relaxes back muscles and gives your poor back a much-needed holiday. Even with the lack of impact, pushing your body through the water gives you a measure of resistance training with your cardio. Swimming can easily shift gears, going from low intensity to higher intensity as your abilities improve.
Cycling is another exercise that can switch from low-intensity to medium-intensity over time. The benefits of cycling are similar to walking, especially when you look at cardiovascular health. The smooth motion of cycling is less jarring on your feet and knees than running or walking, so it is a great workout for people with foot pain. In addition, you can incorporate cycling into your daily routine, using a bicycle to handle small errands rather than using a car.
Taking a yoga class is a calming way to work on your flexibility and balance. As you go through the motions and hold poses, you work your muscles in different ways. Over time, you will find that you can stretch further with less effort. Many people find that yoga is helpful in relieving back pain and sore muscles. According to Gaiam, there are unlimited ways to practice yoga, so you are sure to find whatever you need to fit your lifestyle. The mindful breathing of yoga is also a natural way to relax and reduce stress.
It may surprise you to think of household chores as exercise. Sweeping and mopping floors, raking leaves and carrying hampers of laundry will all elevate your heart rate. The key to incorporating chores into your exercise routine is to do them for a sustained period of time rather than spreading them through the day. You get a low-intensity workout while crossing items off your to-do list.
Low-intensity exercises are an important tool in your health regimen. If you are trying to lose weight, fitting some low-intensity bursts throughout your day will burn calories without you even thinking about it. With all the options for exercise, there is no reason for you to get bored. Find a workout you love and get moving.
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