How Low-Impact Exercises Can Help You Build Strength and Lose Weight

I often see overweight patients in the ED who want to start exercising but are afraid due to joint pain. They are struggling to figure out where to start.

Low impact exercises are great for anyone just starting out, someone who is overweight, someone with joint pain, or someone with a high impact workout routine that wants to mix it up.

An exercise that results in little to no joint strain is considered low impact.

Any kind of exercise is good for you. whether it be high-intensity interval training or swimming laps. Low impact workouts will help you get some cardiovascular exercise, without putting too much pressure on the joints.

If you usually do high impact workouts, change it up and give your body a break with some low impact moves. It is a great way to get a workout, even if you are sore or tired of the usual routine. Low impact exercises will get your heart pumping and help you recover from your high-intensity workouts.

When To Use Low Impact Workouts

Low impact workouts are especially beneficial for people who are unable to do high impact exercises. These low-intensity workouts help the elderly, people who are overweight, pregnant women or anyone with joint issues.

People who are older will benefit from low impact exercise because the moves won’t put too much strain on their joints. And they will be able to do slow, sustained movements. Older adults who workout will improve their cardiovascular health, sharpen their mind, build strength and help manage weight.

Overweight people usually have a difficult time working out because the excess weight can add stress to the joints. Starting out with low impact moves will help relieve that joint pain while helping them lose weight and gain muscle.

Low impact exercise helps pregnant women relieve discomfort throughout their pregnancy, stay fit and active and prepare their body for labor.

Benefits of low impact workouts

A low impact exercise routine will help with your overall strength and endurance. There is less recovery time with low impact moves, so you can get back to the gym the next day without being sore or tight.

Exercises such as yoga and pilates help with mobility and elasticity of the joints and muscles. They help stretch and tone muscles and improve flexibility and posture.

These workouts are great for fat loss since they tend to be slower and less intense, you will be able to work out for a longer period of time and burn more calories.

Another benefit—helping heal or improve joint issues. There are a number of exercises that work the muscles and tendons to provide stability and strength around the joint.

11 Low-Impact Exercises to Get You Moving

  1. Swim. Swimming helps with strength and improves lung function. Head to the pool to do some laps or take part in an aerobic water class.
  2. Spin or cycle. Exercise bikes improve your cardiovascular health, build endurance and burn calories. Take an indoor spin class or hit the open road. But make sure you stay safe, follow the rules and always hear a helmet.
  3. Row. Rowing works out your arms, legs, back and core without putting pressure on your joints. You can join a team and row outside or start on a rowing machine, which are at most gyms.
  4. Yoga. Practicing yoga helps with flexibility, mobility and strength. You can take slower flow classes or a more intense class to get that heart rate up. Take a yoga class at a studio or roll out the mat at home. There are also plenty of free online classes for every level.
  5. Walk. Walking is a great way to get moving. Take your dog on a walk or get a buddy. If you want to add some intensity, head to a hill or carry weights.
  6. Hike. Get outdoors and get some fresh air. Start with an easy to moderate hike and work your way up to the advanced trails. Make sure to bring plenty of water and know your capabilities.
  7. Climb Stairs. Climbing stairs burns calories, builds strength in your legs and improves endurance. Head to a local football stadium or a public building and hit the stairs. You can walk up them or carry weights as you go.
  8. Strength train. Lifting weights can help improve muscle mass, increase bone density, burn calories and improve joint flexibility. Most strength exercises are low impact. Do the moves slowly and make sure you have the right form as you go.
  9. Rock climb. Rock climbing works your muscles and requires slow, controlled movements. Join a rock climbing gym, or if you are more experienced, go rock climbing outdoors with friends.
  10. Pilates. Pilates is a great strengthing and toning exercise for the entire body. It helps promote weight loss, tightens the core, improves flexibility, eases back pain and it is easy on your joints. Find a local studio or take a class at your gym.
  11. Dance class. Dance classes are a fun and active form of cardio. There are so many types of dance classes you can take to get in some movement without pain.

Low impact workouts are beneficial for beginners and advanced. It is important to build strength and flexibility, and these exercises do just that.

Get started and create your own low-impact exercise routine.

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