When it comes to low-impact exercise, there are a slew of inaccurate assumptions floating around in the fitness realm. Many people assume you can only see health benefits after engaging in rigorous, high-impact workouts.
The truth is low-impact exercise is incredibly beneficial and healing to the body. In fact, you might be shocked when you hear the truth behind some of the most common myths about low-impact exercise. Let’s dive in!
Myth #1: I’ll see more health benefits after engaging in high-impact activities
This is a common assumption, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Low-impact exercise not only improves physical strength, but it also helps you maintain a healthy weight and can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Low-impact activities like Pilates can help strengthen bones and muscles, providing a full-body workout without high-impact moves that can put a strain on joints.
Myth #2: Low impact means low intensity
This is probably one of the most common misconceptions about low-impact workouts—the assumption that they lack intensity or are boring. Nothing could be further from the truth! Anyone who has pushed through an intense Pilates class knows you don’t have to bounce around to get your heartrate up and your muscles burning.
In Pilates, you’ll spend a longer time in session working your muscles at a more relaxed pace, but you will work those muscles to the point of exhaustion. I would challenge anyone to walk out of a Pilates class, with their muscles trembling in a classic case of “Pilates shakes” because they’ve been pushed to their absolute limits, and say they experienced a low-intensity workout.
Myth #3: I can’t lose weight with low-impact exercise
Many people assume you must engage in high-impact activity to really burn calories. But a recent study conducted by the University of Bath found participants engaging in low-impact workouts burned just as many calories as those engaging in high-impact workouts.
Again, it is important to remember that low-impact workouts will last longer than their high-impact counterparts, but they’ll also burn just as many calories while being easier on your joints.
Myth #4: Low-Impact is Only for the Elderly
People often assume low-impact exercise is reserved for seniors or people suffering from joint problems when, the truth is, low-impact workouts are wonderful for athletes of any age and at any stage of their wellness journey.
Pilates is certainly a low-impact workout that can benefit people of any age. While the idea of strengthening joints may appeal to those considered to be seniors, the reality is we all need to be engaging in activities that promote joint strength. Add in the additional benefits of Pilates—strengthening the body’s symmetry and mobility while improving the mind-body connection—and you have a low-impact workout that offers whole-body wellness without the wear and tear that comes with high-impact activity.
I hope this encourages you to give low-impact workouts a try. I think you’ll be surprised with just how much they have to offer!