While High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has its benefits, it isn’t for everybody. Beginners, the elderly, and people recovering from injuries or illnesses should opt for low impact exercises instead, and low impact exercises are even great for athletes who are looking to do some additional physical activity without wearing out their bodies.
There are tons of great forms of low impact exercise, so keep reading below to learn more!
Why Should You Choose Low Impact Exercises?
Although HIIT or Olympic exercises can produce amazing results in a short amount of time, doing HIIT workouts or other forms of high-impact exercise is too strenuous for a lot of people.
For example, a good fitness coach will instruct those who have never began a physical fitness routine before to stick with low-impact exercises because it will help them build a foundation of physical fitness without injuring themselves or wearing themselves out.
Another example is people who are recovering from injuries. Whether you are dealing with chronic back pain, recovering from something like Jumper’s Knee, managing arthritis and joint pain throughout your body, or any other form of physical injury, doing low-impact exercises can help you improve your fitness without causing any flare-ups in your injury.
Lastly, low-impact exercises can be great for advanced trainees, and even people looking to become a professional athlete or those who are professional athletes (like myself) can benefit from low impact exercising. I do low-impact exercises both during my season and in the off-season for some extra activity that doesn’t wear down my body.
So, as you can see, nearly everyone can benefit from choosing low impact exercises at some point in time!
The Best Low Impact Exercises
Here are the best low impact exercises you can do to maintain your health without risking an injury or health problem:
Walking is an outstanding way to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health, and I believe it is the best low impact exercise overall.
As stated by a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,
“Walking is a simple health behavior that can reduce rates of chronic disease and ameliorate rising health care costs, with only a modest increase in the number of activity-related injuries.”
Walking is our basic form of physical movement, and it can increase your physical health, improve your mental health and well-being, and provide the basis for a well-rounded weight loss plan.
According to the American Journal of Public Health,
“Although walking is popular, few people do enough walking to benefit their health. Those who walk as well as engage in other physical activities appear more likely to achieve recommended levels of activity.”
For most people, the average walking speed is about 3 miles per hour. There are many other things you could do in your life during that hour you will spend walking, but taking the specific time during your day to walk for one hour can help you lose weight more than you ever imagined. It truly is a great way to get in shape!
If you struggle with walking enough each day on your own, try forming a walking group with some friends or family who live near you. You can walk each morning or night, depending on your schedule. According to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine,
“Walking groups are effective and safe with good adherence and wide-ranging health benefits. They could be a promising intervention as an adjunct to other healthcare or as a proactive health-promoting activity.”
Along with that, although it is not an option for everyone, walking to work is a fantastic way to build towards walking 3 or more miles per day. According to a study published in Health & Place,
“Workplace proximity was the most significant contributor to transport-related walking, especially among women. Regular walking to work resulted in the accrual of sufficient physical activity for health benefits.”
Furthermore, you can easily get up to 3 miles per day by spending some additional time playing an outdoor game!
Fasted cardio in the morning is my personal favorite way to walk a couple of miles. Usually I do a 30-45 minute walk every morning. Fasted cardio is great for many additional reasons as well. If your goal is to lose weight, starting your morning with some fasted walking is a great place to begin!
If you begin consistently walking each day, not only will you improve your ability to lose weight, but you will improve your overall health in a variety of ways as well.
As stated by a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,
“Recent studies have linked regular physical activity with reduced likelihood of developing coronary heart disease. Even low- and moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, when carried out consistently, is associated with important cardiovascular health benefits. Walking has also been shown to reduce anxiety and tension and aid in weight loss. Regular walking may help improve cholesterol profile, help control hypertension, and slow the process of osteoporosis.”
You may also take a walk on a treadmill machine in your house or in a fitness center, but I suggest getting your walks in without using a treadmill as much as possible.
As a professional basketball player, I use walking as a main form of exercise to maintain my body and improve my health, and I am sure you will see similar benefits that I do once you begin walking more! It is an amazing low impact cardio exercise!
Swimming isn’t as natural an activity as walking, but it’s just as doable. Also, it’s a low-impact exercise suitable for nearly all types of people.
With swimming, you can have an enjoyable experience that will make your exercise time something to look forward to, not dreaded.
Swimming has a therapeutic effect on the body, and you can even try to swim in a heated pool so your muscles feel more fluid and your body more relaxed.
Related Reading: Swimmo Swim Watch and App Review
While certain types of people cannot engage in yoga safely, most of the general population can do so. You will love yoga as a complement to your brisk walking program since it adds dynamic physical stretching and mindfulness in one low-impact workout.
But even if you’re a relatively healthy individual who can perform intense poses, you shouldn’t plunge into yoga head-first, so to speak. You should start at the beginner’s class where you will learn the basics of yoga, such as the proper postures, techniques and form.
Pilates Reformer Exercises
When Joseph Pilates, the twentieth-century inventor of the controlled breathing, stretching, postural alignment, and stamina-building physical fitness program known around the world as Pilates, invented the fitness routine, he did not think it would become a health and fitness craze.
Today, Pilates is practiced worldwide from the western nations like the United States and Canada to African countries like South Africa and Kenya, and it is a great low-impact exercise.
Pilates can do many things for the human body; from helping to alleviate back pain to improving balance and conditioning in both the young and old.
As a low-impact fitness exercise, Pilates, when practiced consistently, is also known to:
- Improve Flexibility
- Increase Strength
- Help Develop Absolute Control of the Human Body
- Increase Endurance
For many years, athletes and dancers who have suffered fatigue or several forms of injury have used Pilates to recover and regain their physical shape.
Whether using a yoga mat or a specialized training apparatus like the Pilates reformer, there are many ways Pilates can be used to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
Without explaining too much about the Pilates reformer itself, it is a valuable piece of equipment for those who are practicing this form of exercise.
Reformer exercises are not just good for athletes, but they are also suitable for women who intend to get their bodies back into shape after childbearing or after many years of inactivity.
There is a reason why pilates reformer exercises seem like a very daunting and challenging fitness exercise to beginners who are trying out Pilates for the very first time.
This is because most reformer routines add resistance to movement and by working to overcome/impede this resistance, the participant increases their fitness level, building strength, resilience, and endurance in this grueling process.
Pilates done on the pilates reformer machine involves the body moving through a full range of motions from stretching to bending.
To try out the Pilates reformer exercise requires a proper form and technique. This form puts pressure on your abdomen and the muscles of the lower back.
This form of core exercise increases the body’s ability to generate power to the muscles, giving them strength, flexibility, and balance. Moreover, core muscles are essential for endurance during the exercise.
There are no Pilates reformer exercises without a series of posture adoptions, variation, and many more posture based routines.
Furthermore, Pilates has been known to correct muscular imbalances to changing wrong body postures.
Every tweak in posture results in the body muscles been stretched, elongated, and this often results in varying degrees of flexibility.
Pilates is the complete exercise regimen that allows for flexibility, when compared with other forms of physical fitness, such as weight lifting or sprinting.
Using a trampoline may seem to be an activity only for children, but this is absolutely not true! (Although, it is an incredible play-toy for children). Trampolines can be a full workout themselves, or be used in different ways to improve your overall fitness and health.
Trampoline training is often called “rebounding” and is used by individuals going through physical therapy or lower body injuries, NASA astronauts in training, professional athletes, and an extensive list of other trainees. Trampoline training is effective for anyone looking to build stability in their muscles and joints, while also not stressing the joints with forceful impact on the ground.
Children should especially use trampolines to enhance their cognitive functioning ability, as well as their fitness level.
If you are interested in finding the best trampoline to purchase for your training sessions, check out Hot Trampoline to learn more!
As you bounce on a rebounder trampoline, the main concern for you is to make sure you are constantly aware of your body position in relation to the frame for a healthy bounce.
Avoid bouncing too high such as two inches off the mat. You could easily lose control. You will control the bounce better if you keep it low. You can focus on a stationary object in the room in order to further regulate your bounce.
Trampoline workouts can provide benefits for many aspects of your physical conditioning. In terms of calorie burning, trampoline training is excellent since it is a fairly intense aerobic workout, and works many muscles in the body at the same time.
According to a study published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine,
“A group of previously sedentary college women who trained on rebound equipment three times a week for eight weeks showed a 9% increase in max (aerobic conditioning) but no significant change in percent body fat. A control group showed no significant changes. The improvement was similar to results produced by conventional aerobic dance programs of like intensity but moderate in comparison to other established forms of aerobic exercise.”
if you plan on buying a rebounder for home use, make sure to choose one that is made of high quality materials. We recommend the Needak rebounder, as it is extremely sturdy and it comes with different options for different weights.
As you can see, trampolining and health go hand in hand!
Concluding Thoughts – Low Impact Exercises That Have Great Benefits
When your body has developed sufficient strength and stamina, you can adopt high-impact exercises, too. You should, nonetheless, still incorporate one or all of these low-impact exercises for a well-rounded program.
Fortunately, there are many low-impact exercises that provide high-impact benefits for your health, and they are almost available available at the affordable gyms such as Anytime Fitness or easy enough to do at home.
You will find, too, that access to these exercises is already included in the price you paid for your membership and the membership of your family.