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6 benefits of low-intensity exercises

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While picking out the right exercise, your fitness level generally matters. After all, you cannot expect someone who has been leading a sedentary lifestyle for long to suddenly get up and do jumping jacks. Doing a low-intensity workout is the way to begin. The good thing about low-intensity exercises is that it’s not just for beginners. Even seniors or regular gym-goers can do them. Such moves are appropriate for people of all fitness levels and offer many benefits. Read on to find out the benefits of low-intensity exercises.

What are low-intensity exercises?

Low-intensity physical activities are those that are mild and sustainable and call for little effort or exertion. Fitness expert Aminder Singh of Team Aminder fame says these exercises can be a crucial component of a well-rounded fitness regimen. When beginning an exercise programme, healing from an injury or searching for a moderate method to stay active, low-intensity activities are a great way to include physical activity into your daily routine.

Woman walking
Walking is a great low-intensity exercise. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Here are some of low-intensity exercises you can incorporate in your daily life:

1. Walking

Walking is one of the simplest and most effective low-intensity exercises, says the expert.

• You can walk outdoors in a park, on a trail or around your neighborhood. You can also walk indoors, like at a shopping mall or on a treadmill. All you have to do is pick a location.
• Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, which will provide adequate support for your feet.
• Start walking at a comfortable pace. You don’t need to walk fast; the goal is to maintain a steady and relaxed rhythm.
• Swing your arms naturally as you walk, and maintain good posture by keeping your back straight and your gaze forward.

Try to take out time and do at least 30 minutes of brisk walking.

2. Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact, full-body exercise that’s easy on the joints and muscles.

• Find a suitable swimming facility.
• Wear appropriate swimwear and bring goggles if needed.
• Start with basic strokes like freestyle or breaststroke if you are a beginner.
• Focus on proper technique, including your breathing pattern, and gradually increase the duration of your swim sessions.

Swimming is not only a great cardio workout, but also helps with muscle toning and relaxation

3. Tai Chi

It’s a traditional Chinese wellness practice that focuses on slow, flowing movements that improve balance, flexibility and relaxation.

• Find a quiet and spacious area where you can move freely without distractions.
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent while keeping your back straight and relaxing your shoulders.
• Begin with a warm-up by taking slow, deep breaths and clearing your mind.
• Start performing the Tai Chi movements while focussing on your breath and maintaining a slow, steady rhythm as you transition between poses.

It is as much about mental focus as it is about physical movement.

Benefits of low-intensity exercises

Low-intensity activities can be go-to choice for a variety of people. Here are some benefits:

1. Ideal for beginners

The fact that low-intensity exercises are ideal for beginners is one of their most important advantages. Starting with low-intensity sports can offer a cozy entrance point if you’re new to fitness and feel intimidated by the idea of challenging routines. Because they are less physically taxing, these activities enable your body to gradually adjust. You can boost your self-esteem, create a routine and lay the groundwork for future, more demanding workouts, says Singh. This easy start makes sure that exercise becomes a pleasurable and long-lasting part of your routine.

2. Effective for rehabilitation

Exercises with a low level of intensity are also very advantageous for people who are healing from injuries. Engaging in low-impact activities can assist you in regaining strength and mobility without running the risk of future damage, whether you have sustained an injury or are managing a chronic condition. These workouts offer a secure and monitored setting for rehabilitation, enabling your body to recover while still being active. Consult a medical expert or physical therapist to create a personalised rehabilitation plan that includes low-intensity activities catered to your unique requirements.

Benefits of walking
Low-intensity exercises are gentle on joints. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Gentle on joints

Numerous high-intensity exercises can be hard on the joints, increasing the risk of injury or aggravating pre-existing joint conditions. Low-intensity activities, on the other hand, are kind to the joints. They lessen the strain and impact on joints that are prone to injury, like the ankles, hips and knees. So, they are a fantastic option for anyone who suffer from joint discomfort or arthritis. Low-impact exercises can help you preserve joint health while still reaping the rewards of regular exercise.

4. Boosts endorphin release

Endorphins, also known as feel-good hormones, are released when low-intensity exercise is performed. These molecules are essential for improving your mood, lowering your stress level, and fostering a sense of well-being. High-intensity exercise can also cause the release of endorphins, but for some people, it can be daunting or overpowering. Exercise’s benefits for elevating mood can be more easily experienced through enjoyable low-intensity activities. Regularly engaging in these activities can help with mental health and a positive mindset.

5. Sustainable for longer durations

Low-intensity exercises have the noteworthy benefit of being sustainable for longer periods of time. Low-intensity activities can be carried out for longer stretches of time without putting too much effort on the body, in contrast to high-intensity exercises that can cause burnout or exhaustion. This enables you to exercise regularly and moderately, which can help you burn more calories and gradually improve your cardiovascular health. If you want to raise your general physical activity levels, you can maintain these activities for extended periods of time whether you choose leisurely strolling or swimming.

6. Enhances sleep quality

Regular low-intensity exercise can help you get better quality sleep, which is important for your overall health. These activities assist in controlling your circadian cycle and lowering stress, both of which are necessary for a restful night’s sleep. Low-intensity workouts can help people who have trouble falling or staying asleep discover more regular and peaceful sleep patterns. This is especially true for those who suffer from sleep disorders or insomnia. Improved sleep not only improves daily performance, but also promotes other aspects of your fitness quest.

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