If you’re looking for a way to stay fit and healthy without putting too much stress on your joints, low-impact exercises may be exactly what you need! Unlike high-impact exercises, which can be hard on your body, low-impact exercises get your heart rate up slowly, are performed at a slower pace, and are gentle on your joints.
Because high-impact exercises are often touted as the ultimate way to improve your health, you may wonder, "Are low-impact exercises effective?" The simple answer is yes!
Research has shown moderate-intensity, low-impact exercise is just as effective at maintaining bone density mass in postmenopausal women. In addition, research shows that mixed-load training that combines low- and high-intensity workouts effectively reduces postmenopausal bone loss at the hip and spine. But it’s not just for menopausal women—anyone can benefit from its bone-boosting benefits!
5 Low-Impact Exercises for Boosting Your Fitness
Walking is a fantastic low-impact workout that requires no expensive equipment and can be done almost anywhere.
Because it’s so gentle, walking for exercise is ideal for anyone who experiences joint pain or has injuries. It's such an accessible activity you can take your kids, partner, or friend along and enjoy a healthier daily routine while fostering deeper connections with your loved ones.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and pilates are all about controlled movement, controlled breathing, and cultivating a mind-body connection. Both offer a wide range of styles and modifications you can make to suit your needs.
Just like walking, they can be done almost anywhere once you get the hang of it. While some pilates routines incorporate specialized equipment, that doesn't mean you need to spend big on classes—you can do a wide range of at-home pilates workouts without equipment (so no need to take out your purse just yet!).
Swimming and Aqua Aerobics
Swimming and aqua aerobics put all the major muscle groups to work while improving your endurance and protecting your joints. And let’s face it, there's no better way to beat the heat than by taking a dip during those hot summer months!
While aqua aerobics may require you to join a class at your local gym or community center, swimming is much more versatile. You can swim laps in your own pool (if you’re one of the lucky few), join a gym, or even take a refreshing dip if you live near a lake or ocean.
Strength Training, Weightlifting, and Bodyweight Exercises
While this might sound like it’s high-impact, believe it or not, this is one of the best low-impact ways to stay fit and healthy without putting strain on your joints. Strength training, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises use weight to build muscle mass and improve your strength. Strength training can be done with machines, free weights, or resistance bands, while weightlifting is all about lifting heavy (although it doesn’t have to start there - it’s all in the process!).
If lifting weights just isn't your thing, bodyweight exercises—like squats, lunges, and push-ups—can be done at home without fancy equipment or free weights.
How to Incorporate Low-Impact Workouts into Your Fitness Routine
Establish a Regular Fitness Routine
Depending on your lifestyle, establishing a regular fitness routine might mean waking up a little earlier, finding a babysitter, or hitting the gym during your lunch break a few times a week.
Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t selfish! Dedicating 30 minutes to an hour to your workout a couple of times a week allows you to show up for your family, community, and career as the most energized version of yourself.
Understand Proper Form and Technique
Proper form and technique are essential for preventing injury. To begin with, it’s important to start slow. Ensure you're breathing correctly (no breath holding here!), your posture is correct, and your hips are aligned.
If you’re not sure you’re doing it correctly, perform the movements in front of a mirror to check your form. If you still feel like you need more support, work with a coach or trainer to get the basics right. Remember, even if your workout is challenging, it should never be painful!
Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
Setting yourself up for lofty goals is a shortcut to feeling discouraged if you don't achieve them. Instead, set small, attainable goals and build up gradually. Once you reach your first goal, set another and build on your progress. Whatever your goals are, remember to celebrate your wins, no matter how small they seem. You deserve to be your own biggest cheerleader!
The Benefits of Low-Impact Workouts
They Improve Cardiovascular Health
Anaerobic exercises (like HIIT workouts or jumping rope) require short bursts of high-intensity movement. While they offer several health benefits, they are typically not recommended for beginners and may carry an increased risk of injury.
During aerobic exercises, like walking, your heart needs to work faster to pump blood to your muscles. As long as you stay within your optimum heart rate and don't overdo it, this is a fantastic way to strengthen your heart muscle and improve its ability to circulate blood
They Reduce the Risk of Injuries or Physical Strain
Low-impact exercises are designed to be gentle on the body, and involve less jumping, bouncing, and high-impact movements that could put strain on your joints.
Not only do low-impact workouts protect your joints—they strengthen them too! By doing low-impact exercises, you can increase your flexibility and strengthen the muscles around your joints to help reduce the risk of future injuries. Wearing compression socks during low-impact exercise can further support joint protection by improving circulation and reducing inflammation.
They Strengthen and Tone the Muscles
Low-impact exercises use weight to challenge and strengthen your muscles. Many low-impact exercises, like swimming, walking, yoga, and pilates, target multiple muscle groups to improve your overall strength.
Other low-impact exercises, like weightlifting, can target specific muscle groups, which can be particularly beneficial if you have a muscle imbalance or are recovering from injury.
They Improve Endurance, Balance, Flexibility, and Overall Wellness
Whether you're looking to improve your endurance, balance, flexibility, or overall wellness, low-impact exercises offer a wide range of benefits for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Because low-impact exercises raise your heart rate and improve your breathing techniques, they help boost your endurance. Not only is this great for improving your performance, but it's also essential for everyday activities (say goodbye to sluggish mornings and collapse-into-bed evenings). In addition, low-impact exercises can improve your balance by challenging your core muscles and improving your stability.
Studies also show that exercise significantly impacts your overall wellness, helping you manage your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, boost your mood, and improve your sleep (we were sold at the thought of a better night’s rest!).
They Are Accessible to All Fitness Levels
If you’re new to exercise, low-impact workouts are the perfect place to start! Because they can easily be modified to suit different fitness levels, anyone can begin with gentle movements and gradually increase their intensity as they build muscle and stamina - this is not a ‘go hard or go home’ process.
Unlike high-impact exercises that require a specific speed or intensity, low-impact exercises are a pressure-free space where you don’t necessarily have to keep up with others to get your dose of dopamine for the day. In addition, many low-impact exercises can be done without joining a gym or buying expensive equipment—all you need is a comfortable outfit and a little bit of space - small changes = big impact, not necessarily high-impact.
Low-impact exercises offer numerous health benefits, but like any exercise, they can put stress on the legs and feet. If you're looking for a way to enhance your workout routine while minimizing your risk of injury or discomfort, consider wearing a pair of compression socks to provide additional support.
Wearing compression socks during exercise has been tried and tested by athletes. Compression socks for athletes have been shown to improve blood circulation, boost performance, provide joint support, and speed up recovery time.
Pear Compression Italian-made compression socks are a simple yet effective way to improve your low-impact exercise routine. Our breathable compression socks are designed to be functional and stylish, making them the perfect essentials for your workout, whether you’re at home, in the gym, or out for a stroll in your neighborhood.
Visit our online store to find your perfect Pear of performance-boosting compression socks to help you reach your full potential during workouts.
While we do make every effort to produce accurate and up-to-date content, the information in this blog article is provided for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.