In our last blog, we began mentioning that low-impact sports are ideal for those looking to keep healthy while avoiding joint pain, injury, and a bout of physical therapy. We pointed out that swimming, road biking, kayaking, canoeing, rowing, and rollerblading all serve as excellent low-impact sports. Today, we’re continuing that list. Let’s talk about a few more low-impact sports that you can enjoy!
Hiking across relatively flat terrain can actually be helpful for your joints and it can strengthen your muscles. If you love to walk (another low-impact activity), hiking can give you a bit more of a workout. Just remember, you’ll want to avoid big hills and drops if you don’t think your joints can handle it. Stick to flatter terrain, and work up to more difficult hikes as you strengthen your joints and muscles.
If your forearms and fingers are up to the challenge, rock climbing can serve as a low-impact sport. Plus, it works out the entire body (especially the upper body). Stick to belayed rock climbing to ensure that you don’t fall onto a mat. When you’re roped into the wall, the rope will take the brunt of the impact if you fall. Make slow, conscious movements as you navigate through a climbing route. Avoid jumps and harder routes until you’re strong enough and confident enough to attempt them.
All three of these workouts are ideal for their low-to-no-impact exercises. As you slowly shift from movement to movement, your muscles will stretch and grow. That’s good for your joints, good for your strength, good for your body, and good for your mind. You can practice yoga, pilates, and tai chi as a beginner or an expert, no matter your age.
Golf requires fluid swings. So long as you avoid overexerting your body during your swing, golf can be a good workout for your back and arms. Plus, if you stick to walking instead of renting a cart, you’ll put in a few miles as you chase the little white ball around. Golf enough and you’ll end up with a strong core, powerful arms and shoulders, and legs built to walk for miles on end.
In short, you can’t go wrong with low-impact sports. They offer all of the health benefits you enjoy from exercise, without the risk of injury. These sports and exercises are especially useful if you’re working through physical therapy, if you’re simply looking for whole-body health, or if you find that you have aches and pains after other workouts. Remember, if you do have aches and pains, you can always count on Health Advantage, your source for Physical Medicine and a variety of therapy treatments. Learn more about our full list of Physical Medicine services here.