Exercise is essential in maintaining a proper weight. However, obesity, injury, or old age can make your joints prone to injury. High-impact exercises like running, aerobics, and CrossFit are out of the running — but low impact exercises can still help you lose weight.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates may not seem like workouts at first glance — but get into a class and you’ll find yourself working out muscles that you never knew you had. The two exercises are quite popular in Colorado and Massachusetts — two of the healthiest states in the nation. Both Yoga and Pilates focus on the core muscles or the abs and obliques, although Yoga tends to emphasize flexibility and Pilates leans towards strength training.
Both exercises are suitable for individuals undergoing rehabilitation for an injury are suffering from mobility problems due to weight. Yoga requires very little equipment — typically just mats and chairs. Like Yoga, you can also perform Pilates without equipment — although you can purchase their Pilates reformers for $300-$400. Yoga and Pilates typically burn 120-150 calories per 30-minute session.
Elliptical Machines 200-300
The impact when your foot lands on the ground when running can be massive. However, you can get the intense workout from running — without the impact — through an elliptical machine. Elliptical machines ease your body into the forms of running and climbing without your feet leaving the ground (or footplates/pedals). You can purchase decent elliptical machines for $200-$300. You can burn 250-400 calories in 30 minutes with an elliptical machine — although using it for around an hour produces the best results.
Riding a bicycle is also another low-impact exercise that can burn a lot of calories. While cycling focuses on the leg and core muscles, the calories burned promote an overall reduction of fat — you won’t have skinny legs while still having chubby arms. Cycling is most popular in Davis, California, where more than 20 percent of the populace ride on bikes.
Of course, cycling does involve some risks — and getting into an accident can be extremely high-impact. You can cycle at the safety of your home with an exercise bike. Of course, you don’t need to buy a $2,000 Peloton (unless you want one) as you can easily find decent exercise bikes for $300-$500. 30 minutes of cycling can burn 150-350 calories, although extending your sessions to an hour is great for your endurance and cardiovascular health.
If you prefer your exercises sitting down, then try your hand at rowing. The exercise focuses on your legs, core, back, and arms. A stronger core and back can minimize backaches and problems, as well as improve your posture. Rowing is quite popular in Washington, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania because of their waterways — but you can easily row with a machine at home.
Rowing machines can cost around $300 although more expensive ones that track vital signs and are equipped with a touchscreen are also available. Rowing burns 200-300 calories in 30 minutes — although you can ramp it up to 400 if you imagine yourself rowing competitively.
Swimming is probably the most effective exercise for weight loss — otherwise, how could swimmers like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte eat 8,000-12,000 calories a day without getting fat. Just staying in the water — especially if it is cold — burns as many calories as walking. Water disperses your body heat — prompting your body to burn fat to maintain its core temperature.
Swimming in the cold is quite popular in Utah, especially among seniors. A residential pool can be a bit expensive. An endless pool can cost around $30,000 or you can have swimming pool builders and designers construct a proper lap pool for around $40,000. Swimming for 30 minutes at a leisurely pace burns 300 calories, while training for speed can burn more than 400.
Low-impact exercises can make a big impact on your weight-loss efforts. Opt for an exercise or activity that fits your lifestyle and try to squeeze in 30 minutes to an hour of exercise to your schedule each day.