Non-weight-bearing exercises are non-impact and include cycling (indoor and out), water aerobics or exercises, swimming, stretching, tai chi and flexibility exercises. Physicians might recommend non-weight bearing exercises if you have arthritis, osteoporosis, if you are pregnant or if you are a very large person. Non-weight-bearing exercises are also helpful when the risks for injury or pain are increased. If you are embarking on a non-weight-bearing exercise program, there are some options to consider.
Take it to the Pool
Water fitness is a good way to get cardiovascular exercise without the possibility of hurting your joints. The movements are the same as they are on land. Running, kicking and dancing are effective in the water when they can’t be done on land. The resistance of water is “perfect for a strength-training workout,” says the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Water resistance also increases the heart rate, and water is also a “welcome environment for performing stretches that might be otherwise be difficult,” says ACE.
Take it to the Cycle
Bicycling, indoors and out, “offers efficient, low-impact exercise,” says the Marshfield Clinic. It also strengthens the large muscles of the lower body. Since the bike supports you body, there's reduced risk of joint pain or injury. You can elevate your heart rate and get the kind of workout your heart needs. You can also adjust the bike to meet your physical needs; for example, if you’re beginning, you can go slowly or set the tension very low and increase as you build strength. If you’re more fit, you can set the tension higher and get a very good cardiovascular workout.
Take it to the Floor
Yoga is actually a term for various types of stretching exercises. Hatha yoga is the most popular when in comes to stretching and strengthening exercises. Ashtanga, or power yoga, includes a series of intense poses. Yoga incorporates breathing, which leads to relaxation. This is critical, because research “indicates that stress-related diseases respond favorably to this type of approach. Hypertension, insulin resistance, pain, cardiovascular disease, anxiety and depression all are beneficially affected by regular participation in mindful exercise such as yoga,” reports ACE. Yoga restores balance and easily can improve strength. Tai chi improves muscle strength and definition and increases energy and agility, the Mayo Clinic says.