Every once in a while you should give your body a break from pounding the pavement, whether you’re running, dancing, or playing sports. But before you take this as a sign to sink even deeper into the sofa, try a low-impact workout. They’re easier on your body—your joints will thank you—and they can be a great way to get in a heart-pumping workout without worrying too much about injuries.
Most trainers define low-impact as any exercise where one foot stays on the ground at all times. But rather than doing single-leg dead lifts until keeling over, we rounded up 21 low- (or no!) impact exercises worth trying:
Walking is a stress-free way to get moving. If taking a lesiurely stroll is too easy, there are plenty of ways to add intensity: Hit the hills or add weights (try dumbbells or ankle weights) to really get that heart rate up.
We already have a list of 19 reasons to strength train, and here’s one more: Most strength training exercises are low impact, and they still work up a sweat. (Keep in mind monster box jumps wearing a weighted vest don’t exactly qualify.)
We’ve loved biking ever since we finally took off our training wheels. It just so happens to be a great way to fit in some exercise without putting a strain on your joints. And you don’t even need to sign up for an indoor cycling class to see results. Try this 30-minute at-home cycling workout.
Here’s a super-easy way to get in some cardio while also pretending that you’re soaking up some sun on a boat. Of course, the florescent lights in the gym eventually snap you back to reality. But at least you’ll be working out your arms, back, legs, and core. (Give this 30-minute rowing workout a go.) Score!
Want to actually hit the water? Grab a kayak and jump in (or maybe don’t jump in, if you want to stay dry)! Kayaking works your arms and core (no crunches necessary), and you can see some stellar sights along the way.
This gentle, fluid movement improves flexibility and may even ward off headaches. (Whether that includes hangover headaches is unclear.)
Looking to upgrade your walks? Take a hike! To keep things low impact, start with low-grade terrain. Save climbing Everest for later.
Climbing requires slow, controlled movements, which means your muscles get a serious workout without the added strain.