For many, the feeling of aching joints, a bad back, shin splits, etc. is all too familiar.
The more we push our bodies in exercise, the more likely we are to suffer some form of injury. And we have been trained to believe that pain means we did right by way of pushing ourselves, and can expect to see some results that will get us into shape.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case — you do not have to endure injuries in order to get the body you’re after.
It is possible to reach your goals of health without sustaining injuries.
But how exactly do you do that?
Via low-impact exercises.
What are Low-Impact Exercises?
The simple definition of low-impact exercise is any form of workout that keeps one foot grounded at all times. By keeping one foot grounded, you are not jarring your joints and your bones as you do in high-impact exercises such as running or HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
Some of the most popular low-impact exercises include cycling, yoga, swimming, and of course, Pilates.
In low-impact exercises, your heart rate doesn’t reach its maximum, but in exercises such as Pilates, you are still able to burn a great deal of calories. In order to reach the optimal levels of a low-intensity workout, you need to do exercises that last somewhere between 40 and 60 minutes, hence the length of Pilates Platinum classes.
Why Low-Impact Exercises Are the Better Choice
Because low-impact exercises aren’t as hard on your body, you are able to do them more often. In fact, it is recommended that you partake in low-impact workouts at least three times a week, if not more.
Studies show that low-impact exercise promotes weight loss just as much as high-impact, without suffering the damage on your bones and joints.
A study done by the University of Bath had two separate groups of people exercise — one participating in high-impact exercises, the other in low-impact ones for a week. After the week of trial, both groups had lost the same amount of weight. It turns out they were both burning the same number of calories.
However, keep in mind that you have to perform a low-impact exercise for longer than you do a high-impact one in order to reach the same level of calorie burning, and thus weight loss.
Working Muscles Just as Hard, If Not Harder
In an exercise such as Pilates, you spend more time on the session, but it is at a more relaxed pace, and you end up working the muscles just as hard.
In fact, you may find that you’re working your muscles even harder in Pilates. High-impact exercises such as running and spinning give your muscles the opportunity to contract and relax while working out. This means that you are working your muscles, but they are not worked to their absolute maximum.
Pilates, however, challenges your muscles to complete exhaustion and then you push them a bit further before you relax them.
This is what causes the famous Pilates shake — the shake that is desired by all because you know it means you’re getting into the fat-burning zone.
Because the workouts with low-impact exercises are not as intense, chances are greater you will work them into your routine. When you dread a high-impact workout such as running or cycling, the likelihood of you falling off the workout wagon is far greater.
However, when you are looking forward to your workouts because you don’t fear injury or sheer exhaustion from quick short spurts of exercise, you are much more likely to show up to your workout and actually see the results you’re after.
The benefits of low-impact exercises go beyond physical — they are also psychological. Say “goodbye” to being afraid of working out because you’re unsure of what injuries you may sustain. Instead, revel in the fact that the accessibility of low-impact exercises is one of their greatest benefits.
Because so much of the health-focused population has suffered from injuries, it is difficult for them to do intense workouts such as running and HIIT.
This is where low-impact exercises like Pilates come in and save the day. An effective workout that doesn’t cause injury, is fun, and gives you fabulous results? What more could you want?
To try out the number one low-impact exercise at one of L.A.’s top studios, Pilates Platinum. To get your first class for just $10, sign up online today.