Okay, so you’ve been a sports fanatic since you learned to walk. You learned to catch a baseball before you learned to read. You earned the all-conference title for lacrosse in high school. You played tennis at the collegiate level. Staying sporty is in your blood. But as you’ve grown older, your favorite sports are leaving your body battered. Recovery used to be a snap. You could play hours of tennis and wake up the next day without an ache. Now, it’s a different story. Your joints ache after an hour on the court. Your arm is sore from tossing the ball with the kid. You’re coming to terms with the fact that your body can’t recover as quickly as it did while you were in your teens and twenties. Now you’re considering taking up low-impact sports to keep from injury. That’s a great idea, and that’s the topic of today’s Physical Medicine blog. Let’s take a look at healthy, low-impact sports and exercises that’ll keep your body in shape while keeping you out of physical therapy.
Swimming tops our list for a reason. Swimming is an excellent low-impact sport and it’s a workout for the whole body. From your arms to your core to your legs, it’s likely that every fiber of muscle in your body will get a bit of a workout. Plus, talk about low-impact. Swimming is basically a no-impact sport. Your joints will enjoy the weightlessness of the water. The low-impact aspect of swimming even makes it an easy choice for certain forms of physical therapy treatment.
Biking, especially road biking, is a very low-impact sport. Since your legs are never creating an impact with the ground (as they would if you were running), your knees, ankles, hips, and back won’t be strained as you exercise. That makes bike riding an excellent low-impact workout for your lower body. Plus, it’s a great way to get from point A to point B!
Kayaking, Canoeing, or Rowing
Kayaking, canoeing, and rowing are all low-impact sports. Since the exertions made during kayaking, canoeing, and rowing are smooth and cyclical, there’s very little impact on your joints. Unlike biking, kayaking, canoeing, and rowing workouts focus on the upper body and the core.
Rollerblading is fun, fast, and it’s a great alternative to running. As we mentioned before, running can cause problems throughout your leg joints and your back. Meanwhile, rollerblading takes a huge portion of the impact of running out of exercise. Since you’re gliding over the pavement instead of galloping across it, your legs and back won’t take a major impact with each motion. That’s good news for joggers still looking to cruise across the pavement.
In short, these low impact sports will take the strain off of your joints and they’ll aid you in strengthening your body. Now this isn’t a comprehensive list of low-impact sports and activities you can enjoy. In fact, we’ll be continuing our Physical Medicine blog feed with further low-impact sports, so stay posted for part two! And as always, if you are suffering from aches and pains you can find comfort here at Health Advantage, your connection to Physical Medicine and a variety of therapy specialists.