While many Americans enjoy running, some of us are unable to jog for various health-related reasons. Perhaps you have a friend who runs regularly, and you’d like to achieve similar fitness goals. However, you have weak knees that prevent you from this type of exercise. So are you able to obtain the same, or better, results by taking part in walking or other low impact activities? The answer to this question is, that it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Technically, it is possible to burn the same amount of calories by running, walking or other low impact exercises. But for this to occur, a person must be willing to invest more time in the latter two activities. Did you know that one pound of body fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories? Thus in order to lose one pound in a week, you’d have to burn an additional 500 calories each day than the total you’ve consumed (500 x 7=3500). That being said, there are several helpful online calculators to assist you in developing a fitness routine. For example, at www.healthstatus.com, you simply input your weight, enter how many minutes you spend doing each activity on the list, and then just click on calculate at the bottom of the page. Their list is extremely detailed and you can quickly see just how many calories you’re burning.
Many of us want to exercise, but find it challenging to fit it into our daily schedule. Do you work in an office building that has stairs? Do you have stairs in your home or live by a park? This type of activity is considered a low impact aerobic, and can be fairly easy to fit into your daily routine. Just toss on your tennis shoes, yes even with that business suit, and start stepping. You can amp up your calories burned by your length of time and your speed. As you increase these areas, it will quickly be comparable to the benefits a body receives after going for a run.
If you’re trying to decide on one piece of gym equipment, you may want to give the elliptical machine a try. One of the advantages of this machine is that it puts less strain on your joints than high impact exercises, such as jogging. If you have an opportunity, select one that also includes an upper body workout built in. This will increase your overall body workout and burn additional calories.
Exercise in the Water
If you want to ramp up your workout but need to be kind to your joints, this type of exercise provides both. Running and other aerobic activity in waist deep water is considered low impact, but you will be able to achieve maximum results. Because of the water’s mass, you will actually find that your muscles and joints are more flexible and you’ll be able to move more freely than you would out of the water.
If you love nature and the outdoors, then hiking might be the perfect low impact activity for you. Because you can choose the length of the hike and the difficulty, this enables you to select the intensity you desire. There are many books, as well as online resources, available to research hiking opportunities in your area. Just be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you. These are essential in maintaining your energy level and avoiding fatigue.
Whether we enjoy high impact or low impact exercise, taking care of our health is a vital part of our lives. In the Bible, we are reminded that our bodies are temples, and thus we must honor and respect them.
Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. —1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Remember that one of the most important aspects of your fitness regimen is to maintain consistency. Stay focused, and let perseverance guide you to your goals.