Low-Impact Exercise vs. High-Intensity Training for Weight Loss

Low-Impact Exercise vs. High-Intensity Training for Weight Loss

Exercising to lose weight is challenging. Not only are you developing a healthy habit that takes time and commitment, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed by different ideas and recommendations. You’ve probably heard claims that both low-impact exercise and high-intensity training are ideal for weight loss, but how do you know which one is right for you?

What is Low-Impact Exercise?

The impact of certain exercises can have a jarring effect on the body, particularly on weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips. Low-impact exercise aims to reduce that impact by elevating the heart rate and burning fat in a way that is relatively gentle on joints. Some examples of low-impact exercise include:

  • Cycling
  • Elliptical training
  • Swimming
  • Circuit training
  • Pilates
  • Walking
  • Rowing

Benefits of Low-Impact Exercise

Low-impact exercise offers a number of benefits in addition to burning calories and helping to lose weight. Improved cardiovascular health is common and can help in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Low-impact exercises are also a great choice for decreasing joint damage, making them a great choice for people suffering from joint pain or recovering from an injury.

Are Low-impact Exercises Good for Everyone?

One advantage of low-impact activities is that they are easier on the body; this means that they are a good choice for nearly anyone. Although there may be a few people who have special instructions from their doctors, most can benefit from a low-impact routine. It’s a great way to get started if you haven’t exercised much in the past or are recovering from an illness or injury.

What is High-Intensity Training?

High-intensity training involves short periods of intense activity followed by recovery periods. Most workout last between 20 and 45 minutes. The actual activity of high-intensity workouts varies but some common exercises include biking, jump rope and sprinting.

Benefits of High-Intensity Training

High-intensity training offers many benefits, including:

  • Burn calories faster
  • Metabolic rate stays elevated after exercise so you continue to burn calories
  • Burn fat
  • Improve oxygen consumption
  • Reduce blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin resistance

Is High-Intensity Training Good for Everyone?

Most people benefit from adding high-intensity training to their exercise routine. However, it’s important to gradually build up intensity, particularly if you’re a beginner or are just coming back from an injury.

Which is Better?

Is low-impact or high-intensity the way to go? The answer depends. Both are effective ways to burn calories, lose weight and become more fit. For most people, adding some high-intensity sessions to their workout routine is beneficial, but people who suffer from joint pain, are just starting to exercise or are recovering from an injury should probably stick with low-impact workouts.

When Should I Consider Weight Loss Surgery?

If you are struggling to lose weight with diet and exercise alone, you may consider talking to your doctor about weight loss surgery. It’s important to gather as much information as possible about the procedure from your doctor and other reliable sources. To qualify for bariatric surgery, your BMI needs to be more than 40 or more than 35 with one or more obesity-related diseases like high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes. You’ll also need to meet with a surgeon to talk about which procedure is right for you.

Preparing for Gastric Sleeve Surgery with Exercise

Even if you decide that gastric sleeve surgery is right for you, continuing your diet and exercise routine will help you to be better prepared for the procedure as changing your habits now will make the transition post-surgery more successful.

Working to include low-impact exercise, high-intensity training or both in your regular exercise routine is a great way to improve your fitness level. If diet and exercise alone aren’t working or if you’re looking for a way to jumpstart your weight loss, consider gastric sleeve surgery with Dr. Borland and his team. Contact us today or check out our online resources to see if gastric sleeve surgery is right for you.