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7 Great Workouts and Who Should Do Them (Knee Trouble? Put Those Running Shoes Down!)

With spring break approaching, and summer on the not-so-distant horizon, we’re all starting to think a little more about getting in shape to enjoy the warm weather. Plus, outdoor workouts will be more manageable again! But did you know that the best type of workout for you depends a lot on your body and your goals? What works for one person could be far less effective—or even downright dangerous—for you.

Savannah is undoubtedly a stunning spot for spring and summer fun outside, so we thought we’d explore this topic a bit. Here are a few awesome workouts!

Walking

walking workout

Photography by James Frid

We decided to start here because this one is truly good for all! Even if you do other workouts, walking is beneficial for both body and soul, especially when your pathways are as breathtaking as ours here in Savannah.

While it does suit anyone and everyone (making it a great family workout, too), walking may be especially ideal when higher-impact exercises could harm you. That’s because it is much easier on the joints than some other activities.

And it’s a more effective workout than some think!

According to the Arthritis Foundation, walking can improve circulation (reducing risk of heart disease), prevent the loss of bone mass, lighten one’s mood, burn 200 calories in 30 minutes, improve oxygen levels, help relieve insomnia, and even slow mental decline in the long term. We think it’s time everyone gets their stroll on!

Swimming

swimming workout

Photography by Guduru Ajay bhargav

If you do have concerns about joint stress, another great workout option for you is swimming. If you’re wanting to lose more weight faster, this could be a smart alternative (or addition) to walking. While walking has wonderful benefits over time, losing weight via it as a workout is a slower process.

Laps in the pool, or among ocean waves, can prove an intense workout, but because one is within the buoyancy water offers, it doesn’t feel as difficult and isn’t stressing your joints out!

This article from Healthline offers up some tips on form and other aspects that help with weight loss, specifically. According to them, a 240-pound person could burn between 632 and 1,068 calories an hour swimming at a vigorous pace. That is no small feat!

We also love swimming because it is a way for those with disabilities or injuries to engage in a body-working activity!

Tai Chi

tai chi workout

Photography by Antonika

If you’re looking for something that feels a little more mindful, tai chi might be for you. A Chinese martial art, it comprises a series of graceful movements that transition into one another. Sometimes called “meditation in motion,” it aims to foster wellness for body and mind.

According to Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, “It’s particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older.”

It’s ability to improve balance and stretch the body could also make this a great activity for athletes who need a cross-training opportunity.

Here in Savannah, Jade Lotus Tai Chi teaches a full curriculum and accommodates people of all ages with all different exercise goals.

Yoga

yoga workout

Photography by Li Sun

While we’re on the submit of whole-body wellness, we must mention yoga! Savannah has so many great studios (Savannah Yoga, Savannah Power Yoga, New Yoga Now), and this is a wonderful regular activity to engage in.

We love yoga for its breath work—something we’ve all thought more about in the past year. But other benefits, according to John Hopkins Medicine, include reduction of stress, improvement of sleep, healthy energy management, mental health support, and more. It can also be targeted to help heal injuries, especially those of the back!

Running

running workout

Photography by Daniel Reche

You’ve probably heard that running is bad for your joints, but this idea isn’t universally true. If you already have joint pain, arthritis, or still-healing joint injuries, then yes, running is not the greatest workout choice.

But studies show that running actually lowers risk of hip and knee arthritis among active marathon runners. The action of running actually does strengthen joints over time. It’s also one of the best calorie-burning workouts there is, and is incredibly good for your heart. In fact, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says it could cut your risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 45 percent. That’s a huge number.

Google the benefits of running, and you’ll find quite the list beyond even what we’ve mentioned here.

The secret to all this is listening to your body and taking care when upping mileage. Foam rolling, icing after long runs, and cutting back or taking a break altogether when pain arises is key!

Weight Lifting

weight lifting workout

Photography by Victor Freitas

If you’re looking to lose weight and/or tone very specific parts of the body, here is your golden ticket!

According to this Shape article, a University of Alabama study found that women who lifted weights lost more intra-abdominal fat (deep belly fat) than those who just did cardio. This is just one example of weight lifting’s unique benefit: targeting. Do you want larger biceps? Or maybe you seek to strengthen back muscles for the purpose of reducing back pain? If you have specific goals, weight lifting is for you!

This workout also shares many health benefits with others we’ve mentioned. It too boosts heart health and strengthens bones, plus it can increase flexibility and balance when done correctly.

That last part is key. If you’ve never spent time weight lifting before, we advise working with a trainer, at least at the beginning, to learn form. Bad form can make this workout dangerous.

Boxing

boxing workout

Photography by Cottonbro

Maybe you’ve read through all of these workouts and thought, “That’s great, but it sounds a little boring.” Well my friend, we’ve got the solution for you: boxing!

If you want to work out in a more active and engaging way, and/or have some excess energy to get out of your system, this might be the perfect activity for you. And as with all of our choices today, it has fantastic health implications.

Boxing improves total-body strength and heart health, but it also does hand-eye coordination a favor like nothing else on this list, and it improves bone strength. In particular, if you need to bolster shoulder muscles, boxing will help you do it quicker than arguably anything else. So says Man of Many, where the building of ab muscles is also mentioned. You might not think of that right away when you think about boxing, but much of the movement begins in the abs.

 

 

Well, there you have it folks! We hope you enjoyed contemplating these seven great workouts and who should do them.

Although it’s not ready yet, our Geo. Meyer House will one day offer up a gym to our residents, and we can’t wait to see you all getting your sweat on! In the meantime, maybe we’ll get to say hello as we pass each other on walks (or runs) along the river.

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