Are you looking to get in better shape, be more active, improve your health, or just increase your energy? There are many benefits to working out, but not everyone has the capacity for high-impact physical activity. Low-impact exercises are a great option for those who need a more gentle approach but will still have high benefits.
Low-impact exercises are great for people of all ages and can reduce stress on muscles, joints, and tendons, which helps avoid injury or other problems in the future.
So, you may be asking yourself, what exercises are considered low-impact? Great question, and the answer is pretty simple. Any movement you can do that doesn’t require jumping, slamming, or jarring, typically seen with higher-intensity workouts, is considered low-impact.
You can protect your joints and still have a great workout that offers several benefits, including:
- Easy for beginners
- Elevates the heart rate
- Improves strength
- Improves mobility and balance
- Decreases the risk of injury
- Requires less recovery time
- Optimal for burning fat
- Can be maintained after an injury
- Great for group workouts
Although many people think high intensity means higher results, the fact is that the risks are higher. Workouts like interval training may give great results, but there is an elevated risk of injury and long-term muscular or tendon damage.
While there are several different low-impact exercises, everyone is unique, so not every exercise will be right for you or your specific needs. You may want to consult with a physician prior to starting any new physical regime.
Finding a routine that is fun and enjoyable but a little challenging is a great way to keep yourself feeling accomplished and motivated, and there are many options to choose from, such as:
- Walking – having one foot in contact with the ground creates minimal impact and reduces the risk of injury.
- Swimming – no contact with any hard surface makes this a zero-impact exercise and is great for those who have sustained major injuries or have arthritis.
- Yoga – improves balance and strength and has cardiovascular benefits.
- Cycling – on the road or stationary, you are increasing cardiorespiratory function, making it great for weight loss.
- Rowing – rowing machines improve endurance as well as upper and lower body strength.
- Elliptical Machine – a great way to get the benefits of running without the risks or impact.
Even though these are low-impact exercises, starting any new physical routine, you should go easy to give your body the time to create stamina and tolerance for the exercises. Warming up is always recommended as it helps gently stretch the muscles and ligaments, which will help reduce the risks of injury.