While many Kiwis love exercise, others see it as a job, an obligation, something that they have to do but don’t want to do. At Hot Spring we know the endless benefits of low impact exercise better than most, so we aim to offer our customers fitness opportunities that are genuinely fun – case in point, our range of Endless Pools swim spas. But why exactly is low impact exercise so beneficial?
Low impact exercise can improve muscle strength and aerobic capacity, lower blood pressure and stress levels, and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. It also opens up exercise to those who may be unable to do higher-intensity workouts that involve running and jumping, such as the elderly, the injured and those with limited mobility.
Let’s take a look at the realities of low impact exercise: what it’s good for, who should be doing it, and the forms that it takes.
What are the benefits of low impact exercise?
The benefits of low impact exercise are well established, with a wealth of scientific literature available on the subject. Here are just a few of the proven perks of a gentler approach to exercise:
It improves muscle strength and aerobic capacity
The simple act of getting active is great for your body, no matter the intensity. In fact, this 2017 study found that low impact exercise was actually more effective in increasing strength and aerobic fitness in overweight women than high impact exercise.
It lowers stress levels and blood pressure
Light exercise can reduce the levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, while stimulating the production of mood elevating and pain killing chemicals called endorphins. It has also been proven to lower blood pressure.
It reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries
By promoting movement in your joints and improving the strength of your muscles and bones, low impact exercise makes your body stronger and more resilient, thereby reducing your risk of musculoskeletal injury.
Who can benefit from low impact exercise?
Another major benefit of low impact exercise: it can be enjoyed by anyone! Unlike high impact exercise, low impact training – particularly when undertaken in the gravity-free confines of a swim spa – is available to all:
Sure, an athlete will need a healthy dose of high impact exercise to stay at the top of their game, but for everything in between – warm-ups, cool-downs, an early-morning row or a late night paddle – the low impact exercise offered by an Endless Pools swim spa can prove just the ticket (though with a current that can flow as fast as 1:14 per 100m, it can cater to your high-impact exercise needs too!)
The injured and rehabilitating
If you’re on the road to recovery, whether from an injury or an extended bout of sickness, the low impact exercise offered by an Endless Pools swim spa can help you to ease back into activity at your own pace, slowly building your body up to where it was before.
Those with limited mobility
If you have limited mobility, whether from a disability, a long-term injury or chronic pain, a swim spa can take weight off your muscles and joints to give you a far greater range of movement than you would otherwise enjoy. This opens up a world of exercise that can have you feeling better than ever!
As we age our bodies are less able to do the things they once could, including high impact exercise. This is why Endless Pools are so popular with retirees and empty nesters (who also find themselves blessed with extra space.)
From the physical to the mental, the health and wellness benefits of low impact exercise apply to and can be enjoyed by anyone – children, grandparents, triathletes, the wheelchair bound, and everyone in between.
What are examples of low impact exercises?
While Endless Pools swim spas might only measure a few metres in length, the exercise options offered by these machines are as endless as the name suggests. While the six exercises listed below give you a taste of the capabilities of a swim spa, in truth the only limit on your workout is your imagination:
- Swimming: As the name suggests, Endless Pools swim spas are designed to offer the finest swimming experience possible. They do so by creating a deep, wide, low-turbulence current that can be adjusted to suit your swim, from a slow paddle to an Olympic-level sprint. A range of swim accessories, such as the Swim Tether, the underwater mirror and the pace display, further enhance the experience.
- Aqua aerobics: Aqua aerobics is a perfectly accessible form of exercise ideal for improving or restoring movement, maintaining fitness and managing pain. The warm water loosens muscles and joints, while the gentle current of the swim spa offers light resistance.
- Walking, running and jogging: The Endless Pools Underwater Treadmill is a unique swim spa accessory that lets you walk, jog or run in far more comfort than with traditional exercise.
- Cycling: Another unique accessory, the Endless Pools Aquabike brings wheels to the water, offering universal yet perfectly gentle resistance in the process. Increase the current to increase the challenge!
- Rowing: Rowing – almost no form of exercise uses as many muscle groups at once, and the Endless Pools Water Rower allows a swim spa owner to make the most of this fact. The kit attaches to either side of the spa and can offer exercise that’s as gentle or as intense as you’d like.
- Resistance training: Use the Endless Pools’ range of swim spa resistance bands to train in a wealth of ways, focusing on any and every muscle group.
Low impact exercise can in fact have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. While a daily walk is a great place to start, there’s perhaps no low impact exercise machine that is as capable, diverse and fun-filled as an Endless Pools swim spa.