Why You Should Add Low-Impact Workouts to Your Routine
We live in a culture accustomed to fast results—whether it’s fast food, same-day deliveries, or quick email responses.
Similarly, many people are looking to lose weight quickly. This makes high-intensity impact workouts, such as boot camp-style workouts, sprints, and jumping extremely appealing. Burn lots of calories in a short amount of time? Why not? But, these workouts can have some serious drawbacks.
Low-impact vs high-impact workouts
High-impact workouts can be tough on the body—just consider the burpee. They require a lot of power and force, putting additional stress on your muscles, bones, and joints. This makes high-impact exercises intimidating or potentially downright impossible for some . For those people, low-impact exercises may be the better option.
One of the top benefits of high-impact exercise is that it can burn a lot of calories in less time. However, low-impact exercises still burn plenty of calories—you may just need to do them a little longer. Embracing low-impact workouts now can support your long-term health goals with less risk of injury. Additionally, low-impact workouts can help you safely learn the techniques needed for you to perform more intense workouts in the future.
Get started with these low-impact workouts
Don’t confuse low-impact for low-energy or low-result—the following exercises can help you safely burn calories and support your body and your weight loss goals. As always, if you are starting a new workout routine or if you have had an injury, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new routine.
Get those steps in! Walking remains a tried-and-true exercise for people looking to lose weight. It’s free, local, and social (if you make it). If you can’t get outside due to weather or other limitations, you can still burn calories by walking on an incline on the treadmill.
Cycling on a stationary bike is a great low-impact cardio exercise that’s easy on the joints. It’s easy to set your resistance levels and increase them at your own pace. Fun group spinning classes can help exercise feel more like a night out at the club than a workout. Outdoor cycling also works—just remember to wear a helmet! You can look for bike paths near you or even join a cycling group.
This ballet-inspired workout is about more than beauty or grace—barre gets your heart rate up and tones your muscles at the same time. Barre exercises can be done at home (using a chair for balance) or in a studio class setting. As you get more experienced, you can add small hand weights (as little as 2-3 lbs) to add more resistance to the movements and burn more calories.
Pilates is a popular workout that can help you improve your balance, flexibility, and posture in addition to toning muscles and burning calories. You can do Pilates at home with just a yoga mat or in a studio class on a Pilates machine (known as a reformer) that uses springs to add resistance for a more intense workout.
Doing some laps in the pool is an incredible full-body exercise that also supports cardiovascular health. The water provides natural resistance and supports your joints through the movements. Try different swimming strokes to mix up the movement and work different muscles groups.