Gone are the days where doing high intensity, high impact training was the only way to workout. Low impact cardio workouts are one of the best ways to stay in shape while being kind to your mind and body. While high impact cardio and intense weight training is okay for some of your workouts, they shouldn’t be all you focus on in your fitness routine. Low impact cardio is great for everyone and should be in your regular workout rotation for a well-rounded fitness plan. Here are our favourite workouts!
What Are Low Impact Cardio Workouts?
Low impact cardio workouts raise your heart rate while minimizing the impact on your joints. They’re easy on your body and are a great way to stay active without worrying too much about injuries. Low impact is defined as any activity where one foot stays on the ground at all times, like walking or yoga, and also includes workouts like swimming, rowing and cycling. These workouts are perfect whether you exercise regularly or are just getting started with your fitness journey.
Low impact cardio shouldn’t be confused with low intensity workouts. With low impact cardio workouts, you still break a sweat and elevate your heart rate, but the workouts are joint-friendly. As a comparison, high impact cardio workouts include activities like running and burpees, which involve lots of jumping and high impact on your joints. Low impact exercises are still great for cardio conditioning, getting your heart pumping and working hard.
What Are the Benefits of Low Impact Cardio Workouts?
- Burn calories and help maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce your risk of injury
- Improve your flexibility and balance
- Good for your heart
- Gentle on your joints
- Put less stress on your body
- Boost your metabolism
- Boost your mood and energy
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Help relieve stress
5 Low Impact Cardio Workout Essentials to Invest In
1. Light dumbbells to add to your walks or stationary bike workouts.
2. Ankle weights for walking and stair climbing.
3.Yoga mat for at home yoga and Pilates workouts.
4. Punching bag set for your boxing exercises.
5. Resistance bands to add a challenge to your low impact cardio workouts.
10 Low Impact Cardio Workouts
Pilates is one of the most popular low impact cardio workouts. It helps you tone up, build lean muscle, and improves your posture and stability. Pilates may not have you working at maximum intensity, but you’re still able to burn a considerable amount of calories and get your heart rate up. It’s a great way to tone up and maintain a healthy weight!
Boxing is an awesome full body, low impact workout. Thanks to the quick, explosive movements, it works all the major muscles and it’s an amazing way to sculpt your muscles and strengthen your core. It will definitely get your heart pumping and cardio system revved up and you can do it with or without a punching bag set.
3. Power Yoga
Yoga is another great low impact cardio workout, as long as you keep moving and your heart rate remains elevated throughout your practice. Power yoga, ashtanga or vinyasa yoga will get your heart pumping while building strength, increasing mobility and improving your balance. Yoga is also known for its mental benefits, helping you manage stress and boosting your mood.
With cycling you can get your heart rate up with virtually no impact on your joints. Whether you use an indoor stationary bike or take your bike for a ride outside, cycling builds strength, burns body fat and decreases stress levels. For more of a cardio workout, try cycling faster or climbing more hills to raise your heart rate.
Using the rowing machine at the gym works your arms, back, legs and core. It’s a full body, low impact cardio workout that will help you build strength and endurance the more you do it. It’s great for your heart and lungs and is suitable for all fitness levels, too!
Walking is one of the best ways to get some fresh air and get yourself moving. It’s low intensity and low impact cardio, but since you can set the pace, you can build the intensity by walking hills and speeding up your pace. Walking is great for your mental health, increases energy levels and improves your cardio.
7. Swimming and Water Aerobics
If you love to visit your local pool, swimming is an awesome way to get your heart rate up and strengthen muscles throughout your entire body. It also has tons of other benefits like lowering blood pressure and regulating blood sugar. If you’re more of a group fitness person, try a water aerobics class to keep things exciting!
8. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is having a moment in the fitness space right now and for good reason. It’s one of the most challenging low impact workouts you can do, as it requires a lot of strength and endurance. It’s another full body workout that will help improve your flexibility, burn calories and help with problem solving. Joining a rock climbing gym is also an excellent way to build community and meet like-minded people.
9. Ballroom Dancing
While not all dancing is low impact, ballroom dancing is high cardio and gentle on your body. It helps with balance and coordination and also improves memory and focus. Ballroom dancing is fun and social and will have you breaking a sweat in no time!
10. Stairs or Stair Climber
Climbing stairs is one of the best cardio exercises you can do to burn calories. It lights up your lower body, engages your core like crazy and is easy to do. If you don’t have access to a gym, you can use any staircase.
Low impact cardio is amazing for your body and mind. Incorporate these workouts into your regular routine to reap all the benefits!
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