Cardio doesn’t have to kill your knees

You hate jumping around

It’s good to know yourself, and I know myself very well. I have a slightly compulsive nature. Once I put my mind to doing something, I attack it with gusto.

I started another one of what I will call my fitness binges about 8 weeks ago just as the children were starting their Easter holidays. Seeing as I would have to spend less time sorting out uniforms and pack lunches and doing school runs, I figured it would be a great time to get serious with my fitness goals and lose some weight and get a bit more toned. I got hold of Jillian Michaels’ dvds and got busy – jumping jacks, standing mountain climbers, hops, 180 degree jumps – you name it, I was ready to give it a try. I also got Hip Hop Abs because it looked like it would be fun for those days when I didn’t feel like jumping and hoping until I was gasping. Guess what? I twisted my ankle. I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t even jumping at the time. I could see all my weight loss dreams being slowly flushed down the toilet. I had to rethink my strategy and fast. Enter low impact cardio.

Low impact exercises are exercises where you have at least one foot on the ground at all times. That means no hopping or jumping. Something like running is high impact. Low impact exercise includes things like walking, swimming, light step aerobics, golf, cycling, yoga to name a few.


Some reasons for choosing low impact exercise

  • You hate jumping around – yep, some people just do!
  • You have arthritis or other bone or connective tissue problems
  • You have osteoporosis or other conditions that can lead to fractures
  • Pregnancy
  • Being very heavy makes jumping difficult
  • You’re a beginner

Some of these conditions occur as you get older so you may have to rethink the way you work out and reduce the impact a little.
What’s working for me right now? I do some full body weight training with dumbbells 3 times a week. Jari Love’s “Get Ripped- Slim and Lean” is great for me. She gets straight down to business and doesn’t talk too much. Her cueing is also great which means you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing and what’s coming next.


I also do a kick-boxing dvd i just acquired – 10 Minute Solution Knockout Body. If there’s anything that involves jumping, I just march in place vigorously. Another good one is Janis Saffell Kickbox Strike Zone. Great for releasing tension and when you just feel like hitting someone.

All in all, I’m a happy camper. Arms have shrunk, cellulite is almost gone and shoulders and arms have more muscle definition. Bulges of fat around my bra strap and waist are going down (wear my body shaper less- yipee, weather very hot!) and tummy still wobbly but flatter. Hardly bother to weigh myself but I’ve lost about 8lb.

I also made some major changes in my diet as well. I cut out the ice cream with chocolate chip cookies, stopped drinking sodas and ate more fruit and vegetables. I generally dislike green vegetables but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

If you are one of those people who like jumping and hoping and all the high impact stuff but you want less pressure on your joints, try a mini trampoline. I just got one for my kids to play around with and I use it as well (when they let me!) and it’s great fun. You still get a workout with a lot less jarring of your joints.


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