Low impact aerobics, also known as “soft-aerobics” or “light aerobics,” has certainly made a big impact on the worldwide aerobic scene. In fact, it’s the “buzzword” in today’s evergrowing, ever-changing fitness industry. Low impact aerobics classes have gained mass appeal by targeting a broad-range market; namely, those who either cannot or choose not to participate in the rigors of a more intense, high-impact workout. Due to the soaring popularity of low-impact aerobics, many experts predict it will be the indoor exercise of the future.
Why all the fuss over this “light-hearted” form of dance exercise? It’s simple: Low impact aerobic classes supply people with a means of obtaining and maintaining a high level of fitness, while avoiding undue stress and strain on the body’s vulnerable points such as the knees, shins, ankles, and feet.
Low-impact classes involve movements that mimic those of their high-impact cousins, but the pace is slowed down considerably. Rhythmic motions are performed in a controlled manner, and one foot remains on the floor at all times.
Hopping and jumping, for example, are excluded and replaced with, say, marching or fast walking. The underlying rationale is to “keep it all moving,” while minimizing harsh jarring.
Low impact aerobics programs are designed to incorporate many muscle groups simultaneously, demanding the heart to work harder. Exercise becomes extremely efficient when the smaller muscles of the upper extremities are engaged along with the larger muscles found in the lower extremities.
Low impact aerobic routines consist of simple dance-like combinations, walking variations, sweeping full-body movements, and upper-body strengthening exercises. Since the legs do not play as active a role as they do in high-impact aerobics, the arms are used more extensively to elevate the heart rate to a desired level.