Basketball, tennis, soccer and more are all great ways to exercise. They require only inexpensive equipment, get you out in the fresh air and provide a full body workout with huge cardiovascular benefits. But sports like these can be very hard on the joints. They stress the knees and ankles and may be inappropriate for older people or those who’ve recently had surgery or given birth.
Low-impact fitness gear to the rescue!
There are half a dozen different kinds of fitness equipment that offer the ability to build strength and coordination, improve balance and optimize joint health. Cardiovascular health and lung capacity are not neglected here, either.
Several of the items discussed below offer those benefits as part of an overall low-impact exercise program.
Rowing machines, for example, offer a full body workout that gives tremendous cardiovascular benefits with little stress on the joints. On the contrary, a rowing machine helps improve joint health by keeping supporting muscles strong and encouraging lubrication.
Stationary bikes or spinning cycles also provide a great cardio workout as they emphasize development of the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. They really work the muscles that stabilize the knees and provide similar benefits to ankle joints.
Stair stepping is another low-impact exercise and stair steppers are usually less expensive than many other items in the home gym. They keep knee-stabilizing quadriceps firm as they help shape up the calves and give an all-round good cardio workout.
For those with a little bigger budget a treadmill is a superb piece of low-impact fitness equipment.
Walking in general is great for health.
But sometimes sidewalks can be a little hard on the ankles and knees. Also, you may want to keep your workout indoors for reasons of safety or convenience, especially if you tend to exercise in the evenings.
A Treadmill is the perfect low-impact item to help you achieve those values. Also when you have a treadmill in your home you can workout everyday even if the weather outside is dismal. You can also walk a few minutes here and a few minutes as you find the time.
An elliptical trainer is the latest must-have addition to the home gym, but it’s not just a fad. Over the years since their introduction they’ve proven their worth. They help improve coordination, develop leg and back muscles, and optimize the cardiovascular system. But, unlike the outdoor exercises they emulate an elliptical doesn’t stress the joints.
Even a weight machine can provide a whole set of low-impact exercises that build strength, tone, curb body fat and burn calories. Weight machine exercises do put some stress on joints, to be sure. But there’s a big difference in effect on the knees between, say, a leg-press that works the hamstrings, calves and quads and the pounding that jogging entails.
There are a variety of reasons that finding low-impact exercises can be near the top of someone’s fitness goals. Recent surgery or other medical condition, advancing age, or a dozen other life circumstances can make it important to take extra care with joints and bones. Fortunately, there are several items of fitness equipment that make it easy to satisfy those goals.