Getting into shape may seem like a steep mountain to climb but in actuality, it could be a gently sloping hill. That is to say, you don’t need to exercise like an Olympian to stay healthy. Especially as you age, excessive or extremely vigorous exercise might actually do more harm than good.
As an article in Here & Now reports, regular physical activity of any kind is both beneficial and necessary. This means that low intensity exercise can actually have a big impact on your health.
Take It Easy
There are many reasons why high impact exercises may not be right for you. According to the National Health Service, people who suffer from chronic joint issues like arthritis or who must manage bone conditions like osteoporosis or stress fractures are more susceptible to exercise related injuries.
The same may be true for individuals who are overweight, who have heart or respiratory conditions, who may be pregnant or who are beginners to exercise in general. In each of these cases, a workout that is too strenuous can result in over-exertion, injury or a worsening of an already existing condition. In each of these cases, a little exercise could go a long way.
Take A Stand
In fact, getting started on your low intensity routine could be as simple as getting up from your seat. According to Here & Now, the amount of time you spend seated is actually a meaningful predictor of your long-term health outcomes. Research finds that men who sat for more than five hours a day are 34% more likely to develop heart failure than those who sat for two hours or less.
This finding highlights the importance of getting away from a sedentary lifestyle. The more of your day that you spend in motion, the better. If your work requires you to sit at a desk, find reasons to stand up and move around at least once during every hour. Incorporate stretching into your day, request a standing computer station from your employer or just look for constructive excuses to walk around the office.
It may seem like a hassle to get up and walk to a colleague’s desk instead of sending an email. But if you think of it as part of your low-impact workout routine, you have to admit that it’s a lot easier than running a marathon. Depending on your health profile, it may also be far more advisable.
Take a Walk
Of course, getting out of your seat is only half the battle. Everyday Health notes that you should also incorporate some form of low intensity exercise into every single day. This is something you can do on your own, with friends or in an instructional setting. Activities can include low intensity yoga, lightweight strength training or even just medium-paced walking. There are also all kinds of aerobics programs, resistance band training strategies and social clubs that promote regular but non-strenuous physical activity.
Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you truly enjoy!