High-impact activity has its place in the world of working out. However, if you’re looking to increase your fitness level and pounding pavement doesn’t appeal, here are a handful of low-impact options that deliver results—without putting extra stress on your joints.
Walking – You walk every day, but how do you turn this into an exercise worthy of breaking a sweat? Try increasing your speed, swinging your arms, holding weights, and/or adding intervals (short bursts of speed or a hill climb) to your regular walk to up the intensity. Walking up stairs is also a great way to raise your heart rate and blast more calories during your walking workout.
Hiking – Changing terrain requires a lot of work from your lower body and walking up a mountain involves your largest muscles—the glutes, hips, and thighs; just what you want from an intense cardio workout. You can burn even more calories by adding a backpack!
Swimming – Here’s a low-impact exercise that delivers dramatic results. Swimming improves the condition of your cardiovascular system, but also increases muscle mass and flexibility without taxing your joints. In fact, swimming has even been shown to have beneficial effects on such conditions as arthritis. Most local YMCAs and many gyms have pools, so add laps to your routine to increase your stamina and shed pounds.
Rebounding – This lesser-known exercise provides a potent low-impact workout while making you feel like a kid again. Bouncing for up to 40 minutes a day, five days a week on a mini-trampoline has shown to increase heart health and provide amazing benefits to the immune system due to the vertical movement’s specific effect on de-stagnating lymph fluid. Be sure to invest in a high-quality rebounder for optimal results. (Also try jumping rope)
Biking – A great workout for the entire body, you should try biking if you want to develop great muscle tone on your legs, glutes, and hips while trimming your waist and increasing your cardio capacity. Biking regularly can significantly decrease your risk for heart disease and can also reduce stress—even short rides daily make a noticeable difference in a short period of time. Best of all, you don’t need to start out buying fancy equipment, you just need an all-purpose bike to get outside and start riding