It is essential to rest your body periodically, regardless of what physical activity you are engaged in, such as running, dancing, or playing sports. Instead of sitting on the couch, an alternative option is participating in a low-impact workout. Low-impact workouts can be as beneficial as high-impact exercises but with less strain on the body.
Exercising with low impact is gentler on your body and won’t cause as much wear and tear on your joints. It’s also great to get your heart rate up without worrying about injuring yourself.
Trainers typically consider low-impact exercises to be any movements where one foot remains on the ground at all times. There are numerous other low-impact exercises worth exploring.
What Advantages Does Low-impact Cardio Exercise Offer?
Just because you don’t feel like a ‘beast’ after a low-impact workout doesn’t mean it isn’t benefiting your body.
The exercises mentioned are easier on your joints, which can improve your mobility and lower the risk of injury.
Through low-impact exercises like tai chi, yoga, and Pilates, you train your body in the vital area of balance and learn to hold positions with more stability.
Aerobic exercise – like running, dancing, or swimming – can help you lose weight.
Low-impact cardio workout routines to slay the day
A list of cardio workouts that are easy on the joints follows.
Equipment: gym shoes (sneakers)
Research has demonstrated the positive impact of daily walking on mental health and memory. Regular walking has decreased the likelihood of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.
To stay safe while walking, choose well-lit and populated areas, and wear shoes that offer good ankle support. Being mindful of safety will reduce your risk of injury.
An excellent basic walking program is 150 minutes per week, and it can be completed in as little as five days per week by completing 30 minutes per day.
You can break up your time by walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week or briskly for 10 minutes 3 times daily. A fitness tracker can monitor the number of steps taken each day. If the objective is to walk 10,000 steps a day, it is recommended to gradually increase the step count by 500-1000 steps per 1-2 weeks. Also, as common sense would indicate, if you’re reaching 10,000 steps, your time engaged in walking will rise too. If walking is your primary form of exercise, the amount of time you may spend walking may be significantly higher than 150 minutes per week.
- Stationary bike
Equipment: stationary bike
This gentle exercise is excellent for building leg strength and improving cardiovascular endurance.
Always consult a trainer at the gym to help you adjust the bike seat to the correct height.
If you are training at home, a general rule when biking at home is to adjust the bike seat height so that your knee has a 5- to 10-degree bend before it reaches full extension. Getting the optimal seat height reduces the amount of compression on your knee joint. Fully extending your knee while peddling on a stationary bike is not recommended.
Your cycling activity should be 35 to 45 minutes thrice weekly.
Stationary bikes offer an excellent cardiovascular workout and are a great way to strengthen the legs while providing low-impact cardio. They are easy to use, making them a perfect option for fitness enthusiasts of all experience levels. You don’t need to take a class to get a good workout on a stationary bike, though many gyms and workout studios offer them.
After warming up your muscles with a 5-10 minute stretch, increase your pace to 75-80 rotations per minute. Maintain this pace for 20-30 minutes, then cool down for 5 minutes before stretching again.
You should feel like you’re pushing the pedals while cycling, not like the pedals are moving your feet. For an intensified workout, consider increasing the resistance.
Equipment: elliptical machine
An elliptical machine is a good workout for your heart, and it’s easier on your knees and back than on a treadmill or running on the road.
Your elliptical sessions should be 20 to 30 minutes and done 2 to 3 times per week.
The elliptical machine may seem confusing or difficult to use initially, but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Look forward while riding the elliptical and use the handlebars if you feel unsteady. Begin by warming the body and gradually increasing your pace for 5-10 minutes. To maximize the effectiveness of the machine, ensure your posture is upright and use your legs to keep the pedals moving.
To maximize the effectiveness of your elliptical workout, maintain a forward-facing posture and keep your shoulders back. Ensure your abdominal muscles are engaged and cool down before exiting the machine to stretch.
To further increase the difficulty of your workout, consider increasing the resistance on the machine.
- Cardio kickboxing
Equipment: gym shoes (sneakers)
Kickboxing is a rigorous exercise routine that can enhance muscle strength and increase endurance. It also helps reduce stress levels and sharpen reflexes. If you’re a beginner, taking a class to become familiar with the fundamentals may be advisable.
The recommended duration for this activity is 60 minutes, and it can be done 1 to 3 times per week.
Participants of a cardio kickboxing class can look forward to an engaging mixture of martial arts, boxing, and aerobics. Initially, with a warmup to get the body moving, such as jogging, jumping jacks, or strengthening exercises, like pushups. Then, the main workout will consist of a series of punches, kicks, and hand strikes.
Ending your workout with a cool down and stretching would be best. Taking the time to cool down will help prevent any injuries that could occur from not properly cooling down your body.
Equipment: gym shoes (sneakers)
There are several benefits to participating in Zumba, including improved heart health, coordination, and overall body tone. Additionally, Zumba can be a great way to relieve stress.
Ensure you drink lots of water during your workout and take breaks as needed. Wearing shoes with good ankle support will help prevent injury if you’re prone to ankle problems.
Sessions should be 60 minutes, and they should be carried out 1 to 3 times per week.
For an enjoyable aerobic workout, Zumba is an excellent choice. The session begins with a warmup, followed by the instructor leading the class through easy dance moves set to energetic music. Once you’re done, you’ll have a chance to cool down and stretch.
As with any exercise that makes you sweat, drink lots of water throughout the class. If you feel tired, you can take a break and join back in.
Equipment: pool, swimsuit, goggles (optional)
Swimming is an ideal form of physical activity for individuals prone to or recovering from injuries, as it is a low-impact exercise. It can help tone your muscles and build strength and endurance.
You should not swim alone and choose a pool with a lifeguard on duty. If you are new to swimming, consider taking swim lessons.
Swimming for 10 to 30 minutes, 2 to 5 times a week, is a great way to stay in shape. We recommend adding five minutes to your weekly swim time to enhance your endurance.
If your gym has a pool, swimming can be a good option for aerobic exercise because it is low impact and, therefore, unlikely to cause injury. Swimming can improve heart rate, toning muscles, and develop strength and endurance.
A good workout might be 1 to 4 laps of freestyle, 1 to 4 laps of breaststroke, 1 to 4 laps of backstroke, 1 to 4 laps of freestyle, 1 to 4 laps of breaststroke, and 1 to 4 laps of backstroke.
If you need a break, lean against the pool’s edge between laps. Always follow the safety rules and guidelines of your swimming pool.
- Running or jogging
Equipment: running shoes
Running or jogging may initially have a higher impact than other forms of exercise. However, as fitness levels improve and the running technique is optimized, the effect on the stride can be reduced. Running has many benefits, such as improving heart health, burning fat and calories, and lifting mood.
If you want to run safely, choose routes that are well-lit and have a lot of people. Let someone know where you will be.
This exercise should be done for 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times weekly.
If you are new to running, do it twice weekly for 20-30 minutes. Your output level is on point if you can keep pace and converse. To make it easier, alternate between running for 5 minutes and walking for 1 minute. To avoid injury, stretch after your run.
A Low-impact Exercise Regimen Designed To Be Gentle On The Knees.
Many people don’t need a home gym to work out effectively. Simple, low-impact cardio routines using your body weight are all that you need.
Any of these six simple moves can get you started.
Or make a circuit with just a handful, like a few rounds of the following:
- Do 30 low-impact half-jumping jacks by standing with your arms at your sides. Lift your right arm overhead while stepping out to the side with your right foot. Return to your original position, then repeat on the left side. (Your arms will alternate overhead as your feet alternate placement.)
- Do 30 squat-to-jabs with your arms at your sides and feet hip-width apart. Squat down as if you’re sitting in a chair. Return to standing, then jab each arm out in front of you as if you’re hitting a punching bag.
Weighted Low-impact Cardiovascular Exercise Can Be Beneficial.
Another reason to strength train is that many exercises are low-impact but still make you sweat. (Note that monster box jumps while wearing a weighted vest are not considered low impact.)
Use either weights or your body weight to do a low-impact strength circuit with moves for your shoulders, back, or any body part.
Try this sample routine on repeat:
- Perform three sets of 10 repetitions per side, beginning in a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand. Alternately pull each dumbbell toward the oblique muscles while keeping the elbow pointing upwards.
- You are holding dumbbells in each hand at your sides with feet shoulder-width apart. Step 45 degrees to the right, lunging so your thigh on your right leg is parallel to the floor. If you place an exercise mat on the floor, you can position yourself to allow your left knee to briefly touch down on the mat before explosively pushing yourself back upright by pressing your right heel hard into the floor. Repeat on the other side.
- To perform this exercise, you should lie on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet pressing firmly against the floor while keeping them shoulder-width apart. With your elbows resting on the floor and forearms parallel to the floor, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms straight up, then return to the starting position.
- Do 30 reps of the Russian dumbbell twist, sitting with your legs in front of you, either with your feet planted on the floor or hovering a few inches off it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rotate slowly to the left and then the right, being careful to keep your spine straight and only moving your arms, not your body. You can also hold a single dumbbell with two hands for more stability. If any weight is too much, clasp your hands together without any weight, and tap the floor as you alternate from left to right.
- Lie down on your stomach with your arms extended to the side in a “T” shape. Ensure your arms align with your shoulders and your feet are hip-width apart. Raise your head, but do not strain your neck by looking too far up. Hold the elevated position, then slowly lower your head and shoulders. Repeat the exercise a few times, increasing the time you hold the position.
Despite their name, low-impact workouts can significantly affect your fitness. Any of these cardio exercises will improve your balance and mobility. Keeping one foot on the floor during training may have a more positive effect than expected.