So I’ll be the first to admit that my view on walking as a workout when I first entered the fitness world was not too great. I was one of those people who thought that walking was only for beginners or warm ups. But hey, we all learn and grow in our own time.
It wasn’t until I lost about 15 pounds simply by walking through the streets of Costa Rica almost everyday for 3 months, that I learned the true power of walking as a workout.
But even if you’re not looking to lose weight, walking is such a great tool for cardiovascular health and building endurance. I may not be able to jog a mile (yet), but you can bet that I can walk 5 miles with no problems.
And recently I’ve been doing exactly that. Daily walks any where from 2 to 5 miles have been my go to form of exercise for the past 2 months. I get to take in the sights, spend some time outdoors, and improve my mental and physical health all without overworking my body.
Something about those walks really clicked and opened the door for me to explore other low impact workouts. So of course I have to share some of the best ones.
If you’re not sure what low impact workouts are, here’s a simple explanation: Low impact workouts are workouts that are low stress on the the joints and body as a whole. That means no running or jumping. Which is okay with me.
To be sure, let’s not get this confused with low intensity workouts. Because even a low impact workout can get intense. If anything low impact workouts are the best of both worlds when it comes to exercise. It’s just enough of a challenge to get your muscles working and burn fat without the extra stress and joint pain.
So if that sounds like something you’re interested in, these are the best low impact workouts for you to try.
A little unconventional but so much fun if you’re looking for a workout you can pretty much do whenever and wherever. Just throw on a pair of skates and get moving. Skating is surprisingly a really great workout that combines cardio and strength training from gliding your legs back and forth working your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Not to mention the core strength from stabilizing yourself.
Ever tried a spin class? If you have then you know they tend to be high intensity. But did you know that cycling is also low impact. As long as your bike is adjusted properly you can get a great workout while minimizing joint injuries.
I’m not much of a swimmer myself, but I do know that due to the buoyancy of the water, it’s probably the best workout to do if you’re looking for low impact. There’s virtually little to no pressure on your joints. It’s a full body, high intensity, high calorie burning exercise. And bonus: you don’t have to worry about sweat.
Pilates is one of those workouts that’s harder than it looks. It’s a low impact workout that emphasizes muscular control and core strength. If you’ve ever tried it you know that it’s most often done on a mat or a reformer, and can be as gentle or as intense as you’d like it to be. And all of those slow and controlled movements help build long lean muscle.
I personally don’t prefer to think of yoga as a workout due to the spirituality of it all. But I can’t deny the strength and fluidity required to move from pose to pose. I remember when I was solely doing yoga everyday for 30 minutes to an hour for a full year. During that time I was often asked if I work out because of my toned arms. All I’m saying is, don’t underestimate the power of a dozen chaturangas.
Originally created for ex-dancers this ballet inspired workout takes notes from Pilates and yoga. That means it’s the ultimate “looks easy but is actually hard” workout. Barre uses ballet barres, light weights, resistance bands and a mini ball to spice up the exercises. But none of it is needed because it’s hard enough without any equipment. Barre uses repetitive movements, pulses, and isometric holds to literally get your muscle shaking.