If you’re new to exercise or just looking for a low-impact workout to add to your fitness routine, then you’re in the right place! Low-impact workouts are great for beginners or those looking to minimize stress on the joints. They can also be a great option for pregnant individuals with injuries or chronic pain or simply seeking a gentler way to get active.
So, what exactly is a low-impact workout? Essentially, it’s any exercise that doesn’t involve jumping or jarring movements. This means you won’t be putting as much pressure on your joints, which is a great option for those with sensitivity or injury.
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Low-impact workouts for beginners
Here are five low-impact workouts that are perfect for beginners:
- Walking: Walking is perhaps the most low-impact workout of all! It’s easy on the joints and can be done by just about anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. Start by walking around your neighborhood or in a local park, and gradually increase your distance as you get more comfortable. You can also try incorporating some hills or stairs to increase the intensity of your walk.
- Yoga: Yoga is a great low-impact workout that can help improve flexibility, balance, and strength. There are many different styles of yoga to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits your needs. If you’re new to yoga, try starting with a beginner’s class or following along with a video at home. You can try more advanced poses and longer classes to increase the intensity as you progress.
- Swimming: Swimming is an excellent low-impact workout that provides a full-body workout. It’s especially great for those with joint pain, as the water’s buoyancy helps support the body. If you’re new to swimming, start with a few laps of the pool and gradually increase your distance as you get more comfortable. You can also try different strokes, such as freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke, to work different muscle groups.
- Strength training: Strength training doesn’t have to be high-impact to be effective! Plenty of low-impact strength training exercises can be done with just your body weight or with minimal equipment. Some examples include push-ups, squats, lunges, and plank variations. If you’re starting, try doing 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise, with a little rest in between sets. As you progress, you can increase the number of sets and reps or try using resistance bands or dumbbells to add some extra challenge.
- Elliptical: The elliptical machine is a great option for those who want to get in some cardio without putting too much stress on their joints. It’s a low-impact option that lets you get your heart rate up while still being kind to your body. Start with moderate intensity and gradually increase the resistance and speed as you get more comfortable.
How to make low-impact workouts effective
In addition, there are a few other things you can do to make your low-impact workouts more effective:
- Warm up before you start: A proper warm-up is essential to prepare your body for exercise and reduce the risk of injury. Start with some light stretches and gradually increase the intensity until you feel ready to begin your workout.
- Pay attention to your form: Proper form is important for any exercise, but it’s especially crucial for low-impact workouts. Make sure you’re using the correct technique to get the most out of your workouts and reduce the risk of injury.
- Mix it up: If you find that you’re getting bored with your low-impact workouts, try mixing things up! Experiment with different exercises and activities to keep things interesting and challenging. For example, you could try a yoga class one day, a swim the next, and some strength training on the third day. This will help to prevent boredom and keep your body guessing.
- Incorporate some high-impact workouts: While low-impact workouts are great for beginners and those with joint sensitivity, it’s important to mix in some high-impact exercises as well. High-impact exercises, such as running or jumping, help to build bone density and improve balance. Just make sure to listen to your body and take breaks as needed.
Overall, low-impact workouts are a great way to get active without putting too much stress on your joints. Whether you’re just starting out with exercise or looking for a gentler option, these workouts are great. Always listen to your body, take breaks as needed, and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.