While staying active is crucial to staying healthy, some people’s bodies cannot handle the pressure and impact of specific workouts. Exercises, such as running, put immense pressure on the joints of the runner. For those with preexisting conditions or injuries, these exercises can lead to significant pain. This pain often pushes people away from being active.
However, there are a host of quality low-impact exercises that not only give you an excellent workout, but they limit the stress and impact put on your joints, leading to reduced pain and injury.
Often, people think low-impact exercises don’t provide you with the same intensity as a typical exercise. However, that could not be further from the truth. You can burn just as many calories as you would in a high-impact workout.
Here at Fitness Nation, we believe everyone deserves the chance to find an exercise that fits their body and needs. If you are someone who has concerns about injuries or stress on your joints, low-impact exercises might be right for you.
However, what are some good low-impact exercises? That’s what we intend to share with you in this article.
Who Benefits from Low-Impact Exercises?
High-impact exercise is not for everyone, and that is okay. Everyone’s body is different, so naturally, it will react to specific movements differently. Unfortunately, for some, those movements cause damage to the joints and bones of the person. This impact will increase their risk of injury and lead to pain.
Some individuals are better off avoiding high-impact workouts and should focus on low-impact exercise. Some reasons you may want to avoid high-impact exercises could be:
- Injuries or preexisting conditions in the joints, bones, or connective tissue
- Chronic health conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or stress fractures
- Fitness beginners
- Being overweight
Even though you need some impact to keep your bones healthy, you don’t need a high-impact exercise to get an intense workout. You can still reach your target heart rate to burn calories from low-impact workouts.
Just because it is low impact does not mean it is not high intensity. There are plenty of alternatives to high-impact workouts that keep your bones and joints away from damage.
When you run, your entire weight comes back down on your joints with each stride. Immense stress is put on your hips, knees, and ankles. This impact often leads to pain felt in these joints. However, you can avoid this impact and still get a good cardio workout with walking.
Walking burns calories and reduces fat without the impact of running. However, to get your heart rate up to the target zone, you need to do more to increase the intensity, such as:
- Speed walk
- Walk on an incline
- Use your arms (if on a treadmill, don’t hold onto it; if outdoors, swing your arms to increase the intensity; you can even hold weights)
- Try interval training (add short bursts of speed or use a steep incline between walking)
Too often, people walk too slowly, which fails to increase their heart rate. You have to increase the intensity to get a quality workout.
Swimming is arguably one of the best forms of exercise for your body. The buoyancy of the water reduces the stress and pressure on your body while supporting your weight. Even though swimming is low impact, it is also one of the most intense exercises out there.
Swimming is a full-body exercise. It incorporates cardio, strength training, flexibility, and so much more. Even the most basic swimming technique engages muscles in both your upper and lower body.
REMINDER: If you do not know how to swim or do not feel confident in your swimming, wear a lifejacket and have a lifeguard near.
In most gyms, you can find a rowing machine. Not only is this a great form of cardio, but it is also an excellent full-body workout. If you have any concerns regarding your joints, rowing is an efficient and reliable option.
Rowing requires you to sit on the rower, keep your knees bent, and strap your feet into the platform. Grab ahold of the handlebar, and you are ready to go. Push through your heels, pressing your legs into the platform and pulling the handlebar into your chest. Extend your legs fully.
Return to the starting position by allowing your body to lean forwards toward the platform. Once the handlebar passes your bent knees, start again. Continue for however long you want.
Take the Stairs
Do you ever get winded every time you go up and down the stairs? As you can see or may have experienced yourself, taking the stairs is no small feat. Whether you use a real staircase or use the stair climbers at Fitness Nation, taking the stairs can be an incredibly intense workout that increases your heart rate.
If you are a beginner, start slow with just a few minutes of stair climbing. In due time, increase the time you spend on the stairs and increase the intensity. You’ll find you don’t need to go very fast to get in a good workout on the stairs.
While people often see yoga as a way to relax and refresh your body, it can also give you a killer workout. Yoga does a great job of increasing your core strength and improving your muscle tone. Both are vital to weight loss, increasing your metabolism, balance, and so much more.
Yoga focuses on all the major muscle groups, building strength and definition. It also improves your flexibility and range of motion. While some see yoga as just stretching, it is so much more than that.
Cycling is one of the most popular cardio options out there, but did you know it is also a low-impact exercise?
Unlike running, you are not continuously putting pressure and stress on your joints when cycling. Instead, you push against pedals that drive you forward. It is an intense workout that can raise your heart rate and burn calories.
Many beginners struggle when they first start exercising. Often, they feel too inexperienced to weightlift. Fortunately, there are several bodyweight exercises that do not require you to pick up heavy weights. They rely on just your bodyweight.
You do not have to add excess weight onto yourself to get in a good workout. There are several exercises you can do that use your own bodyweight to build muscle, burn calories, and lose weight.
Join Fitness Nation
Even if you are a beginner in the world of fitness or worry about the damage you may do to your joints and bones, there are several different low-impact exercises that are easy and safe to do. We understand that high-impact exercises aren’t for everyone.
However, there are countless low-impact exercises that protect your body while giving you an intense workout. Fitness Nation offers plenty of exercise equipment and classes that are low impact. Join Fitness Nation today!