Low Impact and Lovin’ It!
About three months ago, I almost resigned from a teaching position I’d held for quite some time. My decision had nothing to do with anything relating to human resources or a clash of personalities. The issue at hand was impact. You see, as the daughter of the mother (who works as a ski patrol officer in Tahoe) with two hip replacements, and as a personal trainer to clients in need of physical rehabilitation, I know all too well the unfortunate, but likely, result of not properly considering impact and its effect on the body.
I teach water aerobics. There is a misconception that water aerobics is easy, not challenging, etc. Before taking an aqua class taught by a notoriously high-cardio instructor, my friend said that he envisioned aqua classes as a bunch of bobbing older women “kibbitzing” (chatting) with floating ashtrays sprawled around and riding wavelets like rubber duckies. After toweling off, he conceded, still catching his breath, that water aerobics definitely kicked his butt!
Despite my ability to offer members a cardio workout in shallow water, I could no longer do so with a clean conscience. While the classes are filled with jocks, many are like my mom: they’re offered second chances with titanium and screws, as well as hip and knee replacements. Pounding bones onto a cement pool bottom for me was like an animal-rights-vegetarian working in a butcher shop–it didn’t make sense. Needless to say, I was ready to resign when instead, I was offered a position teaching a low-impact, aqua barre/Pilates class that to my surprise and delight has steadily grown in popularity.
The moral of this story: Recognize how our workouts impact our bodies. From the type of shoes we wear to the surface we exercise on, it is important to take time and ask ourselves if our workout is benefiting our body or if it is breaking it down.
Another low-impact option is rebounding. The beauty of the JumpSport Fitness™ trampoline is that it offers low impact/high impact aerobic exercise at the same time. The buoyant surface of the mat suspended by bungee cords delivers a smooth bounce that is gentle on the joints. In addition, as you bounce, you stimulate your organs and your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is responsible for carrying away accumulated toxins and metabolic waste products. Examples of low-impact exercises to do on your trampoline include:
- Jumping jacks
- Cross country skiing
- Hopping with feet hip width apart; rotate around the trampoline
You can add intensity to any of these exercises by going faster, adding arms, and making the move bigger. For example, with a march, if you begin by bringing your feet up as if you are walking, you can amplify the move by bringing your knee up higher, then you can add arms, simulating a bicep curl. Whether or not you choose to add intensity can be something to ask yourself further down the road. The point is that low-impact exercises still get you moving, and that is key! Getting the heart rate up (which goes even higher on a trampoline than say, walking), keeping joints and bones strong and supple, lowering blood pressure, and losing excess weight are hallmark benefits of low-impact exercise.
Knowing that you do not have to beat your body up in order to reap the benefits of working out should put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, so take that spring and hop onto your JumpSport Fitness Trampoline™. Know that whatever and however you decide to move with careful regard to impact is making you stronger, more vibrant, and more inspiring to others!
Are you a former high-impact mover and shaker gone to the “other side?” Do you incorporate both high and low? Have you developed your own low-impact workouts with the JumpSport Fitness Tramopline™ (JFT)? Please share your experience with our community; your insight and the lessons you learned are appreciated. You can make comments on this blog or write on the JumpSport Fitness™ trampoline Facebook wall: www.facebook.com/FitnessTrampoline. You can also keep up to date with all things JumpSport by following JFT on Twitter @FitTrampoline.
Until next week,
In good health!
Heidi Aspen Lauckhardt-Rhoades
Writer and Social Media Correspondent
Professional Fitness Instructor
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