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>>> High Intensity, Low Impact Workouts
When some people talk about low impact exercise, they often described it as gentle or light. Although this may be true in part, low impact exercise can be a great way to get a solid workout. Often classified as movement performed with one foot always touching the ground, low impact regimes are prescribed for the general population who want to decrease risk for injury yet still exercise at a high intensity.
High intensity, low impact workouts have many benefits. It is certainly true that low impact exercises are effective in improving fitness, losing weight and developing muscle tone. What's more? High intensity, low impact workouts can burn as many calories as high impact workouts all with less risk of injury.
If you are trying to lose weight or become fit then you have probably heard that you should aim to exercise in the middle and upper range of your target heart rate zone. This is about 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, and is thought to be the optimal range for most effective fat burning. Although it is quicker to raise your heart rate through high impact exercise, for many people who choose low impact workouts, raising your heart rate is still possible.
Yes, weight bearing exercises and impact are important for maintaining healthy bones and a healthy heart, but you do not have to do a lot of jumping to achieve this. High intensity low impact workouts can raise your heart rate into the target heart rate zone, with only slightly increased effort. Here are just a few of your exercise choices:
Walking and Low Impact Cardio Workouts: Walking and low impact cardio workouts like stationary biking or elliptical training are some of the most popular low impact high intensity workouts available. Ordinary walking is great for getting around but for real benefits it is important to increase intensity. You can do this by increasing the pace of your walking, using interval training by adding bursts of speed or an incline. Swing your arms to raise the intensity or use walking poles, as in Nordic walking, to increase your calorie-burn. When using cardiovascular equipment aim to use a low impact program available through the machine.
Step Aerobics and Low Impact Aerobics: These can both be useful alternatives to high impact workouts. Use step aerobics and low impact aerobic workouts if you enjoy exercising to music but want to avoid the stresses high impact aerobics can have on the body. Stepping onto a raised platform will raise your heart rate without requiring you to do any jumping. To add more intensity, try using your arms or adding upper body movements, increasing the pace, using larger movements, or involving your lower body.
High intensity low impact workouts offer a great alternative to more stressful and uncomfortable forms of exercise and can be used effectively as part of a weight loss regimen or to improve cardio fitness and muscle tone. And when used wisely, they are safe and a whole lot of fun.
Laura M. Turner, M.Sc., CNHP is an author, journalist and wellness mentor specializing in natural anti-aging practices and nutritional medicine. Visit her online at http://www.beauty-and-body.com/ and subscribe to the BodyTalk eZine - http://www.bodytalkezine.com/. While you're there grab her new eBook Retro-Aging and enroll in her "Take Charge Of Your Health" eCourse FREE, as well as improve your health with Nature's Healing Treasures: www.beauty-and-body.com/youngliving.
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