Best low impact workouts. It seems that we are always bombarded with images of celebrities breaking a sweat, of high impact workouts, of a-type personalities accepting nothing less that a butt-kicking fitness routine. There are, however, lots of people whose bodies have loudly spoken and won’t accept anything that’s overly strenuous to their joints. The fact is that many of us can sometimes benefit from giving our joints a rest. In fact, when I was training athletes, many of them asked for low impact workouts because they needed something do to where they wouldn’t get injured and could jump into their sport the next day.
BEST LOW IMPACT WORKOUTS
Walking. Always underrated, walking is such an amazing form of exercise. You can move along at your own pace and make it as easy or difficult as you want. Need to increase the challenge? Then simply look for some hills. You can even add some interval training by speeding up for a few minutes and then going back to your pace.
Cycling. Remember those carefree days of riding your bike around your neighborhood with friends? Well, who knew that this was a fantastic low impact workout? Whether you take a spin class at your gym or simply discover your city, try riding your bike for a great low impact workout.
Swimming. Especially tempting when the mercury begins to rise, swimming is actually a no impact workout and is therefore, perfect for anyone who has joint pain or is recovering from an injury. The key to getting a good workout is swimming laps, so pick a stroke and get to it. Alternatively, try a water aerobics class and increase the challenge by adding weights to your workout.
Barre or dance. Perhaps a little unexpected in this list but definitely worth a try if you are looking for something a little different. You can work up a great sweat taking a floor barre class (sometimes called barre a terre) without ever standing up. Or find a local ballroom studio and learn how to glide across the floor with grace. Since it doesn’t have any jumping, ballroom is a great option for those who need some music in their lives
Rowing. I spent many a summer happily rowing around lakes in Ontario, but you can replicate this feeling at the gym too. Not only is it a fantastic cardio workout, but it’s an unbeatable upper body workout as well (hint, it’s a great workout compliment for all the cyclists and joggers out there)
Pilates/Yoga. Being a Pilates instructor for many years, I may be a little biased when it comes to Yoga and Pilates, but if you are looking for an all over, no impact strength training workout, these two can’t be beat. To help you decide which one to try, read: Yoga Vs Pilates Which One Is For You
Rock climbing. Of course rock climbing (indoor or out) isn’t for anyone but it’s one tough workout and you’ll love it once you get started. Since each movement is controlled and deliberate, it’s more like weight lifting than a cardio session. I guarantee you’ll have so much fun you won’t even know that you are out of breath.
This is just a small taste of what you can do to ease the pressure on your joints. Exercises like golf, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (in winter) and even switching to the elliptical are all great options. If you find that running and other high impact sports aren’t working for you (find out more about High vs Low impact workouts now), get creative and try something new!
What are your favourite low impact activities?