Low impact exercise is usually defined by having at least one foot on the ground at a time, such as walking, running, etc. Swimming is another incredibly effective and efficient “low impact” way to exercise. Higher impact exercises would be Box Jumps and Burpees, etc. Also, when you begin to throw in heavy weights such as a barbell and heavy dumbbells, you are requiring more and more strength to avoid overusing muscles and tendons. Essentially, the risk for injury can increase with the high impact exercises. And clearly injury can occur with heavier and heavier weights. Nobody thinks it is a great idea to load up a barbell with 500 pounds and start lifting it for fun until you body explodes!
Why would this be important for folks? Essentially when you move from low impact into higher impact you increase force, which has to go somewhere. You don’t want this force to go where it can’t be handled by your muscles, bones, and joints to where you get an injury. If you are a beginner, are obese, are pregnant, or have existing injuries, low impact is a safer way to burn calories and increase strength, agility, flexibility, timing, power, balance, coordination, and endurance.
Conversely, higher impact exercise can burn more calories and are believed to even be more effective at strengthening your bones. The key to this entire spectrum of low to high exercises is to listen to your body and never, never, never, “work through the pain.” If you are a beginner and totally obese, then start slow and smart. Swimming in a pool is ideal for losing weight and building the strength necessary to move onto other forms of exercise. Yes I know going into a pool can be a tough option emotionally, but if you can’t do any other exercise due to your obesity, it just might save your life.
So where does Kemme Fitness fit in? We do have some low impact exercises and our workouts are made up of mostly bodyweight exercises. Outside of some of my older At the Gym workouts in the “core” series, you will be hard pressed to even find any weights higher than a 35 pound kettlebell. With that said, our Functional Fitness workouts have you jumping and hopping and swinging things around at times. Those types of exercises are clearly in the high impact end of the spectrum.
Personally (I’m bragging here), I think we have it all here for you. If you haven’t worked out in years, we have K-Basic for you to begin. Just a Physioball and you are ready to go. You want a challenge? Well then – duh – we have K-Challenge for you! And there is everything in between. Basically, Kemme Fitness runs the entire spectrum! Too much bragging? oops