If you are looking to get in shape, improve your fitness levels, or are simply interested in enjoying the many benefits of working out, then low-impact exercise may be just the thing for you. A low-impact exercise is a great option for people who cannot tolerate high-impact exercise or those who are looking for a gentle way to get exercise benefits without placing too much stress on their muscles, tendons, and joints.
Keep one foot on the ground and take a walk
Walking is hard to beat due to its simplicity and effectiveness. It’s low impact, so it’s less jarring on your knees than running or jogging. And with a little hustle, you can burn a lot of calories. What’s more, walking on a surface such as a track or a trail can put even less stress on your joints than walking on concrete.
To increase your speed, focus on generating power from your legs and hips. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and push the ground behind you to accelerate. Bending your arms to 90 degrees and keeping them close to your torso will allow you to put extra energy in your lower body, where the muscles are bigger, giving you a bigger metabolic boost.
Unless you're a regular member of a crew team, chances are you don't do much rowing, in which case, you're missing out on a total-body workout that provides solid cardio and endurance training. Rowing also strengthens your arms, legs, and core, and improves your upper back strength and posture. As a bonus, you'll burn nearly 500 calories an hour. Unlike the treadmills, which are almost always in use by other gym rats, the rowing machines are likely to be open and ready to give you a workout as soon as you walk into the gym.
Working both the frontal and sagittal (side-to-side) planes will make your muscular strength more well-rounded. You want to ensure you’re working both legs equally, so shuffle right for a set amount of space or time, then shuffle left for the same duration, filling up your 1 minute of high-intensity activity time.
To get moving, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, hips slightly bent so that you’re maintaining a forward posture, and your arms are comfortably in front of you. Shift your weight to your right, pick up your right foot, and push off from your left foot to move your body to the right. Go as quickly as you can during this movement while maintaining your form.
Riding a bike, either on the road or in the gym on a stationary cycle, is a great low-impact way to work out. While biking, your hips remain in contact with the seat and your feet with the pedals, eliminating impact. Still, you can challenge your cardiorespiratory system while biking, making it a great choice for weight loss.
Cycling can also be a great low-impact way to improve lower-extremity endurance. It can work your quads, hamstrings, and calves, strengthening those muscle groups.