As spring begins to peak around the corner, many of us are eager to pull out the swimsuits and bask in the sun, hoping to get rid of the moon tan we have been acquiring over the past several months. For most, spring is the time of year to make a fresh start, not only with our spring cleaning, but with our health and fitness – usually sparked by the extra tight swim trunks or bikini that just doesn’t seem to fit anymore.
With high hopes of getting that summer bod, many turn to clean eating and exercise. However, for many of us, all of that jogging and running can be extremely hard on the ankles, knees, and back. Often times, exercise is put aside due to discomfort and frustration.
If this sound familiar, do not lose hope! There are several options for cardio exercise that are easy on your joints, and can be just as effective as jogging, running, jump roping, and other not so joint friendly exercises. The following exercises are excellent alternatives for cardio workouts:
Pull out those dusty skates, because this exercise is excellent for a solid lower body workout, with little to no stress on your joints. Because you are rolling, skating (both on ice and pavement) involves no jarring, abrupt impact or pressure, so you can target your lower muscle groups to propel you forward. Increasing balance, improving endurance, and strengthening your lower body are all excellent benefits that skating can provide.
If you enjoy the comfort of an air conditioned room full of televisions, then ellipticals are for you! Designed to take stress off your joints, and target specific muscle groups, these exercise machines are a perfect way to get your heart racing without your joints throbbing. If going to the gym is not for you, there are several options for in home systems that are perfect for a quick cardio session with great results.
If you have ever rowed a boat, you know that this is a great workout delivering full body results. A perfect solution to relieve your joints from heavy impact and stress, rowing (both in a boat and on a simulated machine) requires full body motions to propel you forward, and allows nearly all muscle groups to take part. With the ability to regulate how fast or hard you try, you can come away with an excellent cardio, and full body workout.
When properly fitted to a bicycle, this exercise provides excellent cardio benefits, with far less impact and joint damage. In a study at Appalachian State University, researchers found that those who participate in long distance running, actually experience far greater muscle damage, inflammation, and joint pain than cyclists after a long period of intense training. Cycling provides users with a far less jarring exercise, with even greater overall health benefits.
Not only is swimming a solution that offers zero ground impact, but joint stress and strain is quite literally non-existent. Requiring several muscle groups to participate, swimming is a great full body workout that delivers maximum calorie burning benefits, as well as an escape from the heat. Studies have shown that swimming burns the same amount of calories in nearly 1/3 of the time, so you can spend your time on the things that matter most.
These tips and ideas are brought to you by Teton Foot & Ankle Center of Idaho Falls.