Virgin Active blog
Your regular dose of fitness tips and inspiration for living Happily Ever Active.
5 Benefits of Low Impact Exercise
23 Feb 2022 14:49PM by Penelope Oldfield - Pilates Activist
Keeping active is really important but sometimes, it can take a bit of work to motivate yourself to move. I always say, the best thing you can do to keep moving is to find that workout that you love - then you’ll stick at it!
As one of your Reformer Pilates Activists, I spend a fair amount of time on a reformer bed and I love it. It’s a low-impact exercise that targets all areas of your body to leave you feeling that post-workout high.
Let me share five benefits unique to low impact exercise. If you think that you’d benefit from just one of these, why not try our One Series classes (like Yoga and Pilates), swimming or even low-impact strength training.
1. Injury prevention
Low-impact workouts tend to improve your balance and stability because they engage deep stabilising muscles. Regular sessions will help kick some of your dormant muscles into gear, training them to stabilise and protect your body from twists and falls as well as reducing muscular imbalances.
2. Improved technique
Low-impact workouts give you the opportunity to enhance the connection between your mind and body which is excellent for bringing greater awareness and improving your technique. When your body becomes more familiar with the movements and your technique improves, your workouts will be more effective for your fitness goals.
3. Stress relief
In many low-impact workouts, such as Pilates, movements are performed with control, which is a great way of slowing down and relieving stress. Most of the time, we’re not thinking about our breathing so we don’t breathe efficiently. In contrast, Pilates teaches us optimal breathing techniques to increase oxygen flowing around the body and encourages your blood pressure to fall.
4. Less recovery time
Low-impact exercise doesn’t put the same strain on muscle fibres as other higher impact workouts do. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) often occurs in more intense exercise which means that you have to let your body rest and recover whilst it repairs muscle fibres. Low impact tends not to be affected by this, resulting in more regular training and helps to assist good lifestyle habits especially if you are just starting out!
5. Gentle on your joints
Jumping up and down doing high impact exercise can lead to wear and tear of your joints over time, however, low-impact exercise is gentle on your joints. It’s essential to protect your joints with low impact and mobility work. It keeps the fluid around your joints in check - a bit like oiling a car!
The truth is, however you like to work out, everyone can benefit from low impact exercises from time to time. And, if you’ve ever tried it, you might even really enjoy it. If you want to get started with some low-impact exercise, then why not have a go in club? If you're not yet a member, find a club near you!