by NATALIA HAWK
“I can’t run anymore,” a friend said to me the other day. “It hurts my body too much. It makes my bad knee worse and I always have pain in my ankles. But I don’t want to give it up, because it’s such a good workout.”
Sound familiar? It probably does. If you’re a runner, you might suffer from all sorts of pain and injuries in various parts of your body – after all, it’s a high-impact exercise that puts a lot of pressure on your joints. And while it’s fantastic for fitness, it can be really damaging if done in excess, or done if you’re already prone to certain injuries.
There are many other types of high-impact exercise – CrossFit, boot camps, team sports such as footy and soccer, interval training, aerobics, Zumba, Body Attack – that are seriously good for increasing your heart rate and getting your fitness up. But they’re also best avoided if you’re pregnant, prone to injury, suffering from chronic problems, or simply new to exercise.
But I have some excellent news for you. You don’t have to do high-impact exercises in order to get a decent workout. In fact, it’s actually highly recommended by fitness professionals that you mix high-impact with low-impact to avoid injury and work out your entire body.
Here are some low-impact exercises to kick you off:
I don’t mean strolling along a boardwalk by the beach, casually sipping a latte. I mean walking relatively quickly, preferably over varied terrain, with hills and such. If you want a bit more of a workout, try wearing a weighted backpack, ankle/wrist weights, or carrying dumbbells.
If you’re still worried about injuries, try walking on a treadmill – it’s even lower impact than walking outside, and you can control the incline.