If you want to improve your sports performance, or simply want to be more active, but need low-impact exercises, because can’t handle the high-impact demands of weight lifting, running, or sport.. You might feel like you’re completely out of options.
However, anyone who has been in this position before will tell you that this isn’t the case. While it might feel like your days of competition (even just with yourself) are over, there are plenty of activities you can explore to scratch that itch.
Here are 4 low-impact exercises that will keep you active, recovering, and could even help your sports perfomance.
Many people will look at fishing and wonder what makes it an activity. While it can be difficult to see from a novice perspective, fishing can be a demanding sport, especially if you want to be successful.
Depending on the type of fishing you do, you’ll need the mental strength to focus all day long. You may also be standing up for a long time, which can get exhausting (and is actually a great way to train for long distance running). If you go the fly fishing route, this is what you’ll encounter, and if you’re asking what is fly fishing… You can get all the information you need to help you understand whether it’s right for you.
Going for a walk is an underrated approach for staying fit and keeping active, and it’s probably the easiest way you can relax (yep, relax).
All you need is a pair of shoes and a path (or field, or beach, or some woods…), and you can walk as far as you like. This low-impact exercise approach won’t take much toll on your body, which is perfect for anyone who experiences pain, and as there’s not much of a recovery time, you can walk every day without worrying about sore muscles (unless you’re doing some really steep hiking ;-)).
Swimming stands out as one of the best all-around activities (and is my favorite on the list!).
Whether you go for a quick frog swim in the lake or prefer to push yourself doing lengths of the pool, you get a full-body workout that eliminates the impact you’d find with running, lifting weights, or pretty much any other land sport/exercise. You’re buoyant while in their water, which makes any joint and muscle pressure disappear. However, swimming is not as convenient as other options, as you need a pool, lake, or other body of water to make it work.
Cycling is a hobby that can easily become an obsession (ask me how I know…). It gives you more scope than walking or swimming, and as long as you invest in a quality bike, you can go places that you probably couldn’t imagine (again, ask me how I know).
If you live in the countryside or near woodland, you’ll likely have trails to explore, but you can get just as much of a benefit from road biking. Just make sure you wear a helmet, and are VERY aware of your surroundings. I know many people that have been hit by cars. In fact, you should wear a helmet (and protective gear) no matter where you’re going. When mountain biking, I always wear a helmet, knee guards, bike shorts, gloves, and glasses (even if it’s not sunny). Taking these precautions is easy once you get used to it.
Staying active doesn’t mean running until you drop. If you are older and want to start slow before ramping up your exercise, struggle with injuries you’ve experienced in the past, or are dealing with overtraining, these low-impact exercises give you the chance to stay active and get some fresh air for as long as you like.