This summer in Texas has been particularly hot. I usually spend my summers exercising outdoors with temperatures in his triple digits, but anything that involves excessive movement is totally out of scope. Over the last few months, I’ve been on a mission to find the best way to stay in shape, not get too hot, and stay connected to nature. result? A renewed interest in low-impact exercise.
You can always hit up an indoor yoga, bar or biking class to beat the heat, but if you’re looking for exercise that doesn’t have to be near your home, heatstroke— we’ve got you covered. Jordan HanaAs a certified yoga teacher and yoga sculpting instructor, she shares the benefits of non-impact movements, the best exercises to include in your weekly routine, and how to do them safely in the heat.
Featured image from Michelle Nash’s interview with Megan Loop.
The reason why the effect of exercise is small
Low impact simply means light (little or no) impact on your joints and at least one foot (if not both) on the ground. Low-impact exercises get your heart rate up slowly, making your movements smoother and gentler on your body. Low-impact exercises include walking, yoga, Pilates, barres, and swimming.
How low-impact exercise benefits your body
Low impact exercises are great for everyone. They are generally safer than high-impact movements and reduce the risk of injury. Low-impact exercises tend to focus on flexibility, are great for stability, alignment, and balance, and can be used as a form of active recovery on days when you don’t want to rest but push yourself.
I’m a big fan of doing low-intensity workouts five times a week, but I know that many of us want short, high-intensity workouts. I personally love 3 low impact days, 2 high impact days and his 2 days of rest. If you’re looking to do more on your days off, low-impact walking is the perfect way to actively recover.
I’m not a doctor, but I truly believe that low-intensity exercise—moving slowly, synchronizing your breath, and enjoying your workout—is good for your overall mental health. Even a simple walk can help.
How to incorporate low-intensity exercise into your weekly training plan
If you’re looking to incorporate low-impact exercise into your weekly training plan, Hana’s typical weekly training schedule may help you stay on track.
Tuesday: HIIT (treadmill training class)
Thursday: HIIT (cycling class)
Hana usually adds walks to her weekly training schedule (usually 2-3 days a week). It helps her go outside and take her two adorable puppies for a walk. Outdoor time is important not only for your physical health, but also for your mental health.even for free 10 minutes on foot can be strange. If you want to avoid the heat, try incorporating an early morning or evening walk into your routine.
Hana’s biggest takeaway is to get in tune with your body and start listening to what your body is telling you. Pain, injury, or major discomfort can be a sign that something is going on and you may need to step away from high-intensity training. If you’re new to fitness and don’t know where to start, lower intensity training is definitely your best bet. Group Fitness If you go her route, be sure to tell your instructor that you are a beginner. They support beginners and help them get the most out of their training.
Get in tune with your body and start listening to what your body is telling you.
Best equipment for low impact exercises
Really, the best thing about low-impact training is that you don’t actually need that much. Body weight is arguably the best tool for low-impact exercises.
If you want to expand your repertoire of fitness equipment, a yoga mat that supports your body from being placed directly on grass or concrete is a great choice. I always like to incorporate hand weights. For bar and Pilates classes, we recommend 3-5 lb weights, a Pilates ball for exercise (small, about 6 inches), and exercise bands. Adding weights, Pilates balls, and exercise bands can help you stretch and build more muscles, but moving slowly with these exercises ensures proper form and reduces the risk of injury. The option to always have a towel for sweating, music for a good mood, and water for hydration is an absolute must.
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hot workout tips
The application of heat (whether outdoors or indoors) increases stress on the body and raises body temperature. Also, because you lose more water during these workouts, your body can become dehydrated and basically fatigue faster. Also, your body doesn’t cool off so quickly, so make sure you breathe properly and prioritize recovery and hydration to support your body during your workout.
My top tip: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – this is the key to working out in the heat. Adding electrolyte supplements to your water is also a great way to replenish the minerals you lose when you sweat.
Other tips to consider:
- Please dress appropriately. Lightweight, sweat-resistant, breathable fabric in bright colors
- Know where you are. If this is your first time working out outdoors (or in the heat), start slow and build up gradually. Know your limits and don’t exceed them unless you have to.
- use outdoor sunscreen. Another must-have!
9 low-impact exercises trainers love
- Take a walk for 30-45 minutes. It’s a great way to get your sweat on while enjoying the outdoors without doing too much strenuous activity.
- Yoga—Let some Sun A flow. One of the foundations of Vinyasa Yoga is sun salutation. Sun Salutation A is a series of nine movements that are coordinated with the breath to develop balance and strength in subtle ways.
Also known as the “pop squat twist,” this exercise targets the glutes, quadriceps, and obliques. Although you can do it without equipment, you can add an exercise band around your upper calves to increase tension and glutes strength during squats.
The donkey kick is a glute-focused exercise that also activates your hamstrings and core. You can do this exercise alone or with a stability ball between your knees and hamstrings.
We’re all afraid of planks, but planks target your core and shoulders and are a quick way to build strength in your upper body. If planks aren’t enough, add slow climbers to your stance.
Your biceps and shoulders will feel it with this exercise. This is a great time to use hand weights (start with low weights and work your way up) or find water bottles or heavier objects lying around the house.
Lunges with triceps extensions target your glutes, quads, and triceps to do it all. Complete all repetitions on the right side before moving to the left side to incorporate hand weights into this exercise.
This exercise works your core, obliques, and glutes by getting on all fours and reaching your arms out in front of you, then extending your opposite leg and squeezing your legs toward your stomach.
This is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Pilates. Lie on your back on the mat and extend your legs diagonally while keeping your core in mind. Extend your arms out to the sides with your palms facing down. Move your arms vigorously, but don’t raise them higher than your hips. While pumping his arms, inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts he completes one exercise. If you inhale 5 times, exhale 5 times, and do this 10 times, you get 100.
One of the core movements of Vinyasa Yoga is the Cobra/Locust Pose. This exercise activates your back muscles and glutes, tightening them and lifting your body slightly off the ground.