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4 exercises that will be kind on your joints and still get you summer fit
Now that we’re on the home stretch for summer with beach season mere weeks away, the pressure to up the fitness ante is officially in the air.
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But before we go from 0 to 100 and start attempting marathons with little-to-no training, it’s important to note that low impact exercise is the perfect medium for minimal wear and tear, while still working in that fat-burning threshold.
So if you’re rearing to get summer fit, minus the aching joints and unnecessary stress on the body, we’ve put together a list of our four favourite low-impact, body-friendly exercises.
It keeps your heart healthy, your mind clear, the weight off and best of all, it won’t cost you a cent.
And, according to a study found on arthritis.org it may even stop the loss of bone mass.
One study of postmenopausal women found that 30 minutes of walking each day reduced their risk of hip fractures by 40 per cent. And if you’re completing your recommended 10,000 steps per day, you are looking at burning anywhere between an extra 2,000-3,5000 calories per week.
High intensity, low impact.
Spin is an effective solution for raising your heart rate and torching excess weight, fast.
For anyone who enjoysed the results of running but needs to avoid stress to the knees or hips, we recommend jumping on a spin bike and testing out a few cycle classes at your local gym. If you want to keep it outdoors, regular cycling is another option for a cardio, lower body and core-focused workout.
Swimming laps of a pool or the ocean is a low impact but high calorie-burning form of exercise, not to mention it’s one of the most mentally soothing activities you can do to switch off.
Popular for being a full-body workout, swimming engages your upper and lower body as well as your shoulders, triceps, core and quads.
Not to mention it is a cardio, strength and flexibility workout in one. However, thanks to the buoyancy of the water, there is no stress on the body to support your weight.
Often seen as intimidating, strength and weight training will provide long-term crucial protection and support for your joints.
As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass which can lead to a slower metabolism and contribute to weight gain.
And while cardio burns calories instantly, weight training will provide a slower burn that lasts throughout the day.
How to monitor your progress?
#1 Body composition analysis
Body composition analysis machines are like weight scales but with all the bells and whistles.
They’re a great starting point when it comes to tracking your progress, displaying a more accurate measure of where your inner fitness is currently sitting.
By committing to a fortnightly or monthly check-in, you are able to set goals and assess your progress.
More than just a scale, they provide a comprehensive view of the body's composition, taking into account water, muscle mass and fat percentage, rather than looking at your weight as one whole number.
Most big gyms have these machines available for use.
#2 A fitness watch
Your biggest asset of all when it comes to getting summer ready, is ensuring you can stay motivated and keep yourself accountable for meeting your daily targets.
Enlisting the help of a fitness watch, such as Huawei’s Watch Fit, you’ll be able to easily track your progress. Keep an eye on the steps you’ve completed for the day, monitor your heart rate, speed, calories burned and even the recovery time required to ensure you are not overdoing it or putting yourself at risk of injury.
Image credit: Huawei
The Watch Fit even includes its own built-in fitness courses with 44 animated demonstrations for quick strength sessions on the go or at home, doubling as your own private trainer. You can even monitor your swimming progress as the lightweight watch is water-resistant.
RRP $249, currently $199 available at JB HI-FI, Harvey Norman and The Good Guys
And of course, the most crucial element of all: A great playlist, podcast or enlisting the company of a friend to distract you as you sweat it out.
Main image credit: Getty
What is your favourite form of exercise?