Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Too many people overcomplicate it, thinking they need to do HIIT workouts or lift heavy weights. But the beautiful thing is that you can build muscle strength without high-intensity workouts. For people recovering from injury or surgery, these exercises can be exactly what you need to build back strength, but with very little impact.
When done several days a week, each of these exercises offers numerous protective benefits for your back and spine. In addition, they can help improve immune health and can even help slow or reverse diseases such as diabetes and heart problems. Furthermore, adding one of these low-impact exercises is something that almost everyone can do, making it a fantastic means to maximize their health and fitness benefits.
Swimming is an incredible exercise for your whole body. You can work out your arms, legs, back, and core while you glide through the water. And because you’re floating, it’s virtually zero impact. This is great news for people with joint pain, spine pain, and degenerative conditions that make other exercises more difficult. Some pools even offer heated options to further assist those with arthritis and make swimming more comfortable.
The nice thing about taking a walk is that all you need are a good pair of walking shoes and a sidewalk or track to go on. Walking is very low impact, but it still strengthens leg and ankle muscles, and also offers cardiovascular benefits. You can walk as slow or fast as you’d like, and you can even do it in small spurts. Some people can only block off 10 minutes at a time for a brisk walk, and those minutes add up. If you need to get in 30 minutes total, you can simply do this 3 times a day.
If you want to strengthen all the muscles in your body, improve your breathing, reduce stress, and boost your flexibility, then yoga is an excellent option. You can do each movement as a beginner and deepen the stretches as you gain flexibility and get more advanced. There are simple poses in yoga that help strengthen your back muscles, core muscles, and give you the stability you need. Many people use yoga to help them regain flexibility and strength after surgery or injury.
Another low-impact exercise is Pilates. It offers stretching similar to yoga, but also incorporates strengthening exercises that use your body weight. The repetitive motions in Pilates help you to build all-over strength with very little impact on your joints or back. The slow controlled movements can also be easily modified to suit people at any fitness level. Regular Pilates can increase blood flow, improve your cardiovascular health, and even boost your mental and physical stamina.
Stretching is more than just lengthening your muscles and improving your overall flexibility. It also helps you build muscle strength that can help protect your back from injury. The best spine surgeons will tell you that most people can prevent back injury by adding just 10-15 minutes a day worth of stretching and back exercises to their routine. You don’t need to do any heavy lifting, either.
One of the best back stretching and strengthening exercises is the pelvic tilt, also called a bridge. You can do this just a few minutes a day to help your spine health.
Want to improve your leg strength but need something easy on the knees? Get on an elliptical. You can start on the easy modes and work up to more challenging workouts as you build the strength and stamina you need. Go as fast or slow and take your time. Good health isn’t built in a day, but with consistent effort, you can easily build muscle strength, improve flexibility, and gain the health you desire. You can do it all without negatively impacting your joints, no HIIT or heavy weights are necessary.