Pledging to get in better shape is practically a New Year’s tradition. If you’re one of the millions of people who commit to being more active this New Year, you’re more likely to succeed if you engage in a variety of activities. These low-impact exercises and tips will help you move toward a fitter, healthier you this year.
- Support your feet and knees. No matter what type of exercise you choose, make sure you have the proper support. Have your feet measured so you get the right size shoe (your feet might be different sizes) and choose athletic shoes with supportive soles. If you have particular foot needs (high arches, bunions, etc.) choose arch supports or insoles to help your shoes work better for you.
- Walk for health. Walking is excellent aerobic exercise and can make a relaxing addition to your day. If you can, walk on your errands instead of driving. Or take a walk after work with a friend or loved one. Prevention offers plenty of walking workouts to get you going!
- Remember strength training. Strength training is an important part of your exercise routine. You should do strength training such as weight lifting, resistance bands, or other exercises at least twice a week, hitting each muscle group (upper body, lower body, and core). Scheduling a few sessions with a personal trainer can help you learn exercises that help your specific needs.
- Hula Hoop! According to the Mayo Clinic a weighted hula hoop makes a fun and effective addition to your athletic supplies. Hula hooping is a youthful aerobic exercise that really works your core muscles. The smaller and lighter your hoop, the more energy you’ll use to keep going, but bigger and heavier hoops mean you can hula for longer.
- Ride your bike. Take your kids for a bike ride or hit the road yourself. Biking is an excellent low-impact exercise. Remember your helmet!
- Go for a swim. Swimming is an amazing exercise because it stretches your back, arms, legs, and shoulders while building muscles all at once. Plus, swimming during the dreary winter months can perk up your mood too. If you don’t have access to a pool, try a rowing machine or glider to work those muscles.
- Cut a rug. Dancing is a great workout and tons of fun. Take a dance class or go out to a dance club with your friends or partner. You can engage in this exercise whenever you want. Just turn on your favorite up-beat music and get moving.
- Stretch yourself with yoga. You should always stretch after exercising, but stretching can be its own workout too. Try some power yoga to get your heart pumping while elongating your muscles and promoting peace of mind.
- Make hobbies work for you. Plenty of hobbies get your heart pumping. Gardening, golfing, and hiking all make good exercise. Make the most of them by tracking your activity with a pedometer.
- Choose activities wisely. Not all exercises are appropriate for everyone. Consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. Plus, remember the equipment and shoes you need to work out safely. If you have knee or other joint pain low impact exercise can be a safer way to begin an exercise program.
It’s recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week (or 75 minutes of intense activity). Staying active isn’t just good for your body, it boosts your mood, makes your mind more alert, and can even help you sleep better. Finding the right activity is just the first step to a healthier you!