Exercise of all types is an excellent way to maintain strength and mental health, but sometimes our bodies feel beat down and need to take things slower. Whether you’re feeling sore or adapting to an aging body, low-impact exercises can help you break a sweat without risking injury.
We’ve compiled a list of the best low-impact exercises that are adaptable for everyone at every stage in their fitness journey.
There are plenty of yoga studios around town if you’re looking for more personal guidance. Otherwise, online resources are excellent for beginners and seasoned yogis alike. Yoga is ideal for relaxation, more flexibility, boosting metabolism, and protection against injury.
Dancing isn’t secluded to physical health. It can also improve mental health, be used as a form of therapy, and boost confidence. Hip-hop, belly dancing, and ballet are among the most popular choices, and there’s an infinite number of classes and videos online to support whatever stage you’re at. Researchers have shown that dance improves heart and lung function, increases muscle strength and endurance, and can help with weight management.
Riding a bike is the perfect outdoor exercise. It gives you an excuse to get out and breathe in some fresh air, and indoor cycling is an easy and accessible substitute that gives you better control over how intense your workout can be. Aside from being an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health, cycling is straightforward to adjust according to your comfort zone and physical limitations.
In need of some inspiration? Walking has been associated with increasing creativity flow and improving overall mood. It’s also a way to tone your legs, increase immunity function, manage joint pain, and boost energy.
If you’ve suffered a recent injury or have a disability, swimming is a safe and effective exercise that works your entire body and cardiovascular system. Despite its low impact, it’s an impressive calorie shredder that can burn up to 200 calories every 30 minutes and is safe for pregnancy. Swimming is associated with reducing heart disease and improving blood pressure and may help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms.
Why not work out with a view? Being surrounded by nature is good for mental health and boosts your mood overall. It’s been shown to support balance, promote muscle strength and endurance, and can lower the risk of respiratory problems. Take a hike!
Indoor rock climbing can be a safe, low-impact exercise for those who want to try something more adventurous and challenging. It can boost confidence, strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and improve balance by challenging coordination. This exercise is typically done in a group setting, making it ideal for those who are looking for community support and something more social.
Rollerblading is making a comeback, and the nostalgic exercise has more benefits than you’d think. Aside from giving you joy, it reaps about the same benefits as time spent jogging, without the risk of joint injury. Plus, it improves balance, coordination, and agility, is a social sport, and is perhaps the most fun exercise on this list. So, whip out those old-timers you’ve been stashing since the 90s!
You can try the rowing machine at the gym if you don’t have access to a body of water. Either way, rowing is an ideal low-impact exercise for a full-body workout. It targets your glutes, calves, and quadriceps, in addition to working your upper body and abs. It’s modifiable for both beginners and experts, good for your respiratory system, and improves muscular strength.
Tai Chi is a self-paced and graceful form of exercise that has similar benefits to yoga and consists of deep breathing and gentle stretching. Regardless of your fitness level, tai chi is easy on the joints and can be done anywhere. It’s associated with releasing stress, combating depression and anxiety, increasing energy, and boosting stamina. Experts recommend that women who are pregnant, or those with back pain and fractures, consult a health professional before trying this exercise.
Ultimately, if you want to exercise but need something a little lower impact, these exercises are just the thing to try. Who knows? You may find your new favorite activity!