7 Low Impact Ways to Earn PAI

Not everyone can run a marathon, quickly jump rope, or do a vigorous high intensity workout routine - and that's okay! PAI Health is designed to meet you where you're at, and recognizes all activity types. With that in mind, we've compiled 7 low impact activities that will get your body moving, your heart pumping, and earn you some PAI.

1. Walking on a gradual slope

Walking is the most common form of exercise recommendation - and for a good reason! You can walk just about anywhere with very little prep, and according to Michael A. Schwartz, MD, of Plancher Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in New York walking can actually stop the loss of bone mass for those with osteoporosis. Walking on a flat surface will earn you some PAI, and if you want to earn even more try walking on a gradual incline. If you have extra energy, try alternating your pace between a fast and slower walk to get your heart rate into the medium or high intensity zone. 

2. Swimming a few laps

Head to your local community center or pool and swim a few laps, and you'll be earning PAI in no time. Swimming carries a much lower risk of injury compared to other exercises, and conditions your entire body, making it a great activity for people of all abilities. 

3. Riding a stationary bicycle

There are 2 main types of stationary bicycles - upright and recumbent. An upright bicycle is your typical bicycle where you bend over the handlebars. A recumbent bike is a bit easier on your neck and back, allowing you to sit back as the handlebars are right in front of you. Choose the type of bicycle that suits your needs and try biking for a few minutes to get your heart rate up. You can also try bicycling at a lower speed over a longer period of time.

4. Chair exercises such as raising weights above your head

Chair exercises are exactly what they sound like - they are exercises you can do while seated in a chair. These are a great option if you have trouble with mobility and balance, and if you want to try something different. Using light weights, a couple of soup cans, or even a water bottle, you can do shoulder presses, bicep curls, and more. Without weights you can do arm circles, dips, leg extensions - the list goes on!

5. Gardening

Watering plants, digging holes, moving plants - all of these things get your body moving and your heart rate up. If bending over too much is a concern, be sure to use tools with longer handles or get a gardening stool to rest on.

6. Stretching routines like yoga or pilates

You don't need to be extremely flexible to do yoga or pilates, as there are a variety of alternate positions and stretches you can do to suit your ability level. Check out a beginner's yoga class or some helpful videos online to start, and work your way up from there.

7. Low impact sports like golf

Walking the course and swinging your clubs will not only get your heart rate up, but will improve your range of motion and build muscles. If doing a full 18-hole course seems a bit intimidating, try out a local driving range, pitch & putt, or mini golf course.

8. Bonus tip - try something new like geocaching or line-dancing!

There are many other low impact activities out there to try! Check out your community listings for events like line-dancing and online resources like Geocaching.com for inspiration on new ways to get your body moving.

Remember to listen to your body and be mindful of your limits when trying any activity. Start slow and work your way up to doing activities for longer periods of time, or at a quicker pace.

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