Top Low Impact Exercises To Optimise Your Workout

February 25, 2021

If you’re looking for effective exercise options, you may be drawn towards more vigorous exercises that promise the fast and effective results. It’s hard to avoid the pull of interval workouts or intense cardio routines. But too much high intensity, heavy physical activity can actually cause you harm. It’s best to choose a well-balanced workout plan that alternates the focus of your exercise and the degree of intensity.

So for an optimised workout, you’ll want to consider low impact exercise. Choosing low impact exercise shouldn’t feel like a compromise. You can still make huge gains with your workout with the right low impact exercises that burn calories and get you feeling fit!

Whether you choose these exercises as part of a routine or on their own, they can prove very effective in helping you reach your goals. Thankfully, we’ve rounded up the top 9 most effective low-impact exercises so you can decide on the perfect exercise!

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1. Walking

It may seem like an obvious one, but walking is actually great exercise! Don’t overlook the benefits of a brisk and energizing walk. Nearly anyone is able to perform a walking workout, making it perfect for you. Plus, you can amp up the intensity without increasing the impact by picking up the pace or incorporating light weights!

It’s easy to fit into your daily routine too. A low impact walking workout is perfect during a lunch break or even as part of your daily commute! Park a little further away from your destination to make space for this effective low impact workout.   

Since it doesn’t require any equipment beyond a good pair of long-distance walking shoes, it can be a good choice for those starting out with exercise.


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2. Swimming

This is one low impact exercise you can dive right into! Swimming combines cardio and muscle building into a single exercise that is not only effective, but downright efficient. This workout packs plenty of benefits into a short time frame, making the trip out to the pool well worth it.

Depending on the strokes you favour, you can focus on certain muscle groups like your shoulders, back or legs — all without causing undue stress to your joints and shoulders. It can also help with internal strength as well, such as improving your lung capacity and function. If you already know how to swim, all you need is a nearby pool that is open for laps whenever you are in the mood for great exercise.


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3. Dancing

Here’s a surprise low impact workout that will get you moving! Dancing is a fun option to get your workouts in with a range of great health benefits. It helps get your heart rate up when you’re moving around and helps increase muscle strength throughout your body. Plus, the coordination required to be an effective dancer improves your balance and gait too.

Choose a style of music or dance that appeals to you. This is the best way to get and stay motivated! A song should make you want to take to your feet. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a choreographed dance. Even freestyle dance will help you achieve your fitness goals, but taking a dance lesson or two can increase the benefits of dance as exercise.

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4. Cycling

Don’t let the fact cycling gets your heart pumping fool you — this is still a great low impact exercise! The use of the bicycle eliminates the need to pound the pavement, saving stress on your joints. This makes it an excellent choice for low impact exercise that offers a boost of cardio.

Cycling also offers great options to fit into your lifestyle. You can choose a leisurely cycle around the park or to take care of errands, or choose a stationary bicycle for an all-weather solution.

What makes cycling such an effective exercise is that it has some full-body benefits too. Beyond the obvious increase in muscle strength, cycling either indoors or out increases your bone density.


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5. Pilates

The number of Pilates exercises mean this is not only a low impact workout, but one that can be adjusted to suit your abilities along with your goals! This makes it a fantastic choice for beginners. Different combinations of exercises allow you to focus on different parts of your body, such as building up your core strength with repetitive movement.

With regular Pilates workouts, you’ll also see all-over improvements like increased flexibility, toning your muscles and building your strength. Pilates is also known to improve your posture as you feel more comfortable in and aware of your body. And since there’s no running, you won’t feel joint stress that may keep you from regular exercise!


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6. Rowing

Although a challenge for your upper body, this exercise makes our list because of its low impact nature. Most gyms will have a rowing machine or two that makes it easy to see results, even after just a short time with this routine. It’s also super easy to learn, making it a great choice if you are looking to make progress fast.

Rowing helps to decrease body fat and build muscle in your shoulders and arms. The repetitive motion of rowing increases your range of motion and can improve your flexibility in the long run too. Just remember to pair this exercise with another workout that focuses on your legs for a balanced approach.

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7. Golf

It may not be the first exercise routine to come to mind, but golf is actually a great low impact workout. Whether you are on a course or the range, you’ll feel a rewarding stretch in your upper body as you perfect your swing. This motion also improves your flexibility while helping to build strength in your arms and shoulders.

Golf also gets you out into the fresh air and enjoying the nice weather. Aim for two rounds a week to make this exercise a calorie burner, and make your exercise stretch a bit further by forgoing the cart and walking the course instead!

Tai chi

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8. Tai chi

Focusing on improving your balance and health, tai chi is an excellent low impact exercise. Slow, deliberate movements make tai chi suitable for a range of ages and abilities. This means it is a popular low impact exercise for the elderly, but can be a safe choice for anyone with health conditions or concerns.  

In particular, tai chi will increase your flexibility, muscle strength and coordination. The slow movements improve your balance as well as you have the opportunity to develop your focus on your body and its performance.  

Joining a tai chi class makes this exercise option a social one. Some tai chi classes take to the outdoors so you can enjoy a fresh breeze as you work out.


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9. Yoga

A low impact favourite, yoga combines thoughtful meditation with exercise for an approach that is healthy for your mind and body. Known best for improving flexibility and range of motion, yoga also builds strength and balance as it improves your overall wellbeing.

Another exercise that involves set poses, yoga is another great choice for a range of abilities. Although the moves are simple, they pack a great punch for your workout without putting the pressure on your joints. More advanced moves may be physically demanding in ways that tone muscles to increase what you are capable of.

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