What are Low-Impact Exercises?
We talk about low-impact exercises a lot on our feed. Adding a healthy dose of low-impact exercises into your routine, or even filling your exercise routine with low-impact workouts can be a great way to get your fitness levels where you want them to be. Today, we want to talk about what is low impact exercise and how you can get started.
What Does Low-Impact Mean
Many popular exercises like running, sprinting, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), kickboxing, and the like are high-impact. When an exercise is high-impact, it means that the exercise creates a lot of impact within your joints and can sometimes cause joint pain. Many of the injuries people get while working out are caused during high-impact training, or not having enough low-impact training and rest days mixed in. Low-impact training, by contrast, is training that has a low impact on your joints. These exercises are more gentle on your body and can be done on a more consistent basis. Low-impact activities are great for people with an injury, the elderly, or anyone who wants to add a gentle workout to their routine.
Examples Of Low-Impact Exercises
Low-impact on your joints doesn’t at all mean low-impact on your fitness level. Workouts like swimming, cycling, yoga, stair climbing, jogging, and PiYo are all examples of low-impact exercises that pack a lot of punch. Let’s take a deeper look at a few of those now.
When swimming, you are almost entirely weightless, so your joints should encounter nearly no impact during your workout. With the water buoyancy and anti-gravity nature of swimming, you could swim every day. But, don’t be fooled by less-impact on your joints, you will still be getting a calorie-blasting and challenging workout with proper swimming technique.
Avid runner? Ellipticals allow for similar movements to running, with your hips and knees bending and rotating, but without the impact. On an elliptical machine, your feet stay on the pedals for the entirety of the workout, taking away the impact from your feet hitting the pavement during a run. And though you may not burn as many calories per minute, you may be able to stay on the elliptical longer and do your workout more times in a week, which could make this a better option for you overall.
Focusing on fitness at the gym is a given, but what if you could also lean into your mind/body connection while you’re at it? Yoga is excellent for developing long and lean muscles, enhancing flexibility, reducing stress, combatting anxiety, and—you guessed it—is low-impact. Similarly to swimming, some people practice yoga every single day.
If you want the benefits of yoga with the added core and strength conditioning of Pilates, a PiYo class is a great option for your low-impact exercise days. PiYo combines two low-impact workouts, Pilates and yoga, into a routine that will leave you feeling stronger, more flexible, and more sweaty than when you walked in.
If you want to take a more traditional route to cardio, though, the stair climber is a fantastic piece of equipment. This machine is incredibly useful for a cardio exercise, with its revolving staircase that keeps you climbing and builds up your glute and leg muscles for the entirety of your workout. Just because you will be stepping up the stairs doesn’t make this workout boring either. You will undoubtedly be feeling the burn, and if you need to mix it up a bit, you can choose to skip a stair, walk sideways, do lunges, or any other combo of staircase workouts.
Indoor and outdoor cycling has grown in popularity over the last decade because of their calorie-burning effects and minimal impact on your knees and joints. You can ride a bike from your childhood years, throughout your life, and can even hop into high-energy indoor cycling classes right here at Chuze. The impact on your joints will be minimal, but the impact on your fitness levels could be life-changing with a consistent cycling routine.
Last on our list, but certainly not least, is walking. Walking is underrated in the fitness world. Not only is it a low-impact cardio workout, but walking, especially outdoors, also allows for introspection and mind/body connection. Walking allows you to see the world on your two feet, discovering new places in your community and in nature, while conditioning you to walk further and further. It is also an eco-friendly way to get around town. So, add walking to your routine. Whether you walk around your neighborhood or on a treadmill, the benefits will be long-lasting.
If you would like to try a low-impact workout, head over to a Chuze Fitness near you, we have an extensive cardio section, a well-rounded group exercise schedule, pools at some of our locations, and so much more. Unable to make it into the gym right now? No worries! You can try these workouts at home and even on-the-go. We cannot wait to follow along as you build a well-rounded fitness routine.