14 Low-Impact Workouts That Are More Effective Than You Think



In my last blog post I went over the differences between high-impact and low-impact exercises.  I provided some obvious examples of both types of exercises.  For low-impact I cited such things as swimming, yoga, and the elliptical machine.  But how about some more obvious and quite a few not-so-obvious examples…



1.  Walking–So let’s start out with our most obvious example first!  Walking is a stress-free way to get moving.  If taking a leisurely stroll is not challenging enough, there are a number of ways to increase intensity–simply walk up and down hills!  If hills are not to your liking, try walking with dumbbells in your hands or ankle weights around your lower legs to really get that heart rate elevated.



2.  Cycling–If it’s been a while since you’ve been on a bike, maybe now is the time to get back on!  Whether it’s riding outdoors, taking a Spin class, or just using a stationary bike with some “hilly” terrain mixed in, it’s a great way to get a workout without putting excessive stress on your joints.


3.  Strength training–I’ve already written numerous blog posts about the benefits of strength training.  The majority of strength training exercises happen to be low-impact, it you can still work up an awfully good sweat!


4.  Rowing–Not only is this a great cardio exercise, but it’s also a fantastic way to work your arms, back, legs, and core!



5.  Kayaking–Ok–so maybe you want to actually get in the water!  Kayaking is great for working your arms and your core (without having to do crunches!), plus you get to sightsee as well!




6.  Hiking–Sticking with the outdoor theme, hiking is a great way to upgrade your walks.  Make sure to stick with low-grade terrain if just starting out!



7.  Tai Chi–This is great for working on balance and flexibility, and has even been shown to help reduce headaches!






8.  Pilates–It’s hard to tout the benefits of yoga without also giving props to Pilates.  Doing nothing but crunches is not the way to get a strong core.  With Pilates, you should certainly improve your core strength and flexibility with putting too much stress on your joints.



9.  Water aerobics–I mentioned swimming in my last post and let’s face it–swimming laps can get awfully repetitive for some of you.  This is a way to combine aerobics with very minimal strain on your joints.



10.  TRX–This utilizes a strap suspension system to allow you to perform total-body resistance exercises.  While it is easy on the joints, it is very challenging for the rest of your body!





11.  Ballroom dancing–One of my oldest clients was a 96-year-old ballroom dancing instructor–she taught other seniors to ballroom dance!  And you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone out there at any age who didn’t appreciate a good dancer (not to mention a fantastic way to stay in shape without stressing your joints!).





12.  Golf–This is not a sport solely for the pros or those who are retired, although golf is another tremendous low-impact way to stay in shape.  Extra bonus points for skipping the golf cart and walking the course!





13.  Rollerblading–Going back in time to the 90’s craze, this is a great way to burn calories (plus, gliding on the pavement puts less stress on your joints).  Just don’t make this a high-impact exercise by actually falling and hitting the pavement!



14.  Cross-country skiing–Traveling on this flat terrain keeps you pretty warm, even in the cold!  So get those arms pumping for a great low-impact workout.


So there you have it–14 additional suggestions for getting a great workout but keeping the strain on your joints light.  And as always, if you or someone you know needs some guidance in how to start an exercise program, progress one to stay active, or just where to begin to get physical activity into your daily routine, call me at (302)691-9055 or visit my website at www.wildermanphysicaltherapy.com to schedule your FREE 30 minute Discovery Visit to see how Physical Therapy can help. Don’t delay–schedule now!