When looking to improve your fitness without putting undue stress on your joints, low-impact workouts are a great choice. They make workouts more suitable, especially for those experiencing joint pain due to arthritis, osteoarthritis, or any other condition.

According to studies, there are also mental benefits to doing aerobic exercise at a low intensity. Stress relief is one advantage. And since stress has been linked to increased heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses, addressing it is crucial.

Also, low impact exercises can help you strengthen your core while getting your heart rate up. Having a solid body is beneficial for people of all ages since it improves both posture and balance.

Therefore, this article defines low impact exercises with several examples and discusses the positive effects on your heart and overall health.

How Do You Define Low-Impact Workouts?

Low impact activities are those workouts that are easy on the body’s musculoskeletal system. They’re best, especially for beginners new to working out or trying to get back in shape after an accident.

Unlike high-impact exercises, such as running and leaping that subject the joints to more than simply the body’s weight, low impact exercises, such as walking and swimming, reduce this stress.

Varieties of Low-Impact Physical Activity

Examples of common low-impact aerobic activities are:

Walking: Walking is recommended daily to gradually exercise your muscles and elevate your heart rate. Besides, it’s a versatile activity that may be done in the great outdoors or even in a crowded shopping center and indoors on a treadmill.

Lunges: How much of a rise in heart rate can you expect to experience while doing lunges? Whether side-to-side or combined with rows, lunges are an excellent aerobic exercise because they force you to use your upper body. You can vary the intensity of your chest, arm, or shoulder workout by adjusting the tension.

Jumping jacks: Don’t worry if you can’t perform regular jumping jacks or if they hurt. You can try low-impact jumping jacks for a cardiovascular workout that’s easy on the joints.

Stationary or Inactive cycling: low impact exercises can be had on a stationary bike, which, like a bicycle, functions by having the rider pedal in place. You spin at the gym or on your stationary bike.

Puddle-jumpers: Puddle-jumpers, or wide side steps, are high-intensity cardio workouts that require little to no impact but deliver significant health benefits. In addition to lowering belly fat and raising good cholesterol, high-intensity exercise enhances insulin sensitivity.

Water sports and aerobics: Aerobic training in the water, like swimming, provides low-impact spinal protection thanks to increased resistance and natural buoyancy.

Image alt text: low impact exercises. A sea side workout session in progress.

Author credit: By John Robert McPherson – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88709464

Change your position from sitting to standing: You might not think much of this move, but it’s a wonderful low-impact approach to get your blood circulating. Changing from a seated to a standing position is a valuable core exercise since it needs some balance.

However, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before beginning any new fitness program. Depending on your exercise goals, they can advise on the best cardio workouts that will be simple to start and maintain.

When You Exercise, What Happens to Your Heart?

Like any other muscle, the heart can be trained to work more efficiently. Whether low or strength training, exercise reduces the workload on the heart by allowing your body’s muscles to aid in delivering oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the system. Over time, the heart requires less effort to pump blood and strengthens.

Advantages of Low-Impact Cardio Exercises

Low-impact exercises have benefits beyond protecting the joints. Some advantages of low-impact cardio training include the following:

Improves Your Heart Health

Physical activity that increases your heart rate has incredibly positive effects on your cardiovascular system. No matter what form exercise takes (low or high-intensity or high-impact), cardio helps build a healthy heart and ward against degenerative diseases.

This suggests that running uphill isn’t the only sort of exercise that can help prevent heart disease. Even low-impact exercises can help strengthen your heart and minimize the risk of several diseases.

The process is sped up by high-intensity exercise. Still, cardio of any intensity will help minimize the danger of developing conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart complications like stroke.

Helps Burn Body Fat

Like other forms of cardiovascular exercise, low-impact exercise is excellent for eliminating excess fat. Fat loss from either low-impact cardio or high-intensity interval training is debatable. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular training method because of its short duration and anaerobic effects.

Conversely, low-impact activities allow you to maintain your heart rate and blood pressure constantly for a more extended period. Any form of cardiovascular exercise will aid in fat-burning and weight loss. Low-impact fitness is ideal for maximizing your workout time without putting undue strain on your body.

They Are Stress Relieving

Low-impact workouts have the same beneficial effect on stress reduction. For the most part, low-impact exercises are easier on the muscles and joints, and they also reduce cortisol levels, which can help you feel more relaxed.

While regular exercise has been shown to reduce feelings of stress, engaging in excessive high-intensity exercises at once can increase cortisol levels, leading to stress on the body and mind. Thus, low-impact exercises assist you in improving your mental and physical well-being without putting undue strain on your body.

Reduces Incidents of Injuries

The fact that low-impact exercise is easier on the joints is a significant selling point among athletes and non-athletes. Injuries are much less likely to occur during low-impact workouts because of the reduced need for mobility.

However, to complete a high-impact workout effectively, you must put in a lot of physical work. This increases the likelihood of tissue and muscle injuries, especially when you’re not physically flexible as necessary to accomplish the activity.

They Are a Confidence Booster

For those who are just beginning out on their exercise journeys, low-impact exercises are highly recommended. People begin exercising for various reasons, but one specific goal is to improve their perception of themselves. However, many people fear working out because they don’t know the proper procedures.

But with low-impact training, participants may modify the intensity of their training to suit their individual needs and abilities, making fitness much more accessible than with high-impact instruction.

They Encourage Physical Engagement and Help You Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Low-impact cardiovascular exercises are excellent for improving mood and particularly beneficial for first-time gym goers and fitness novices. Many people feel uneasy about engaging in physical activity. Some people worry they are in too unhealthy shape to complete the exercises effectively. Some people avoid working out in groups because they feel unsafe.

Getting into the exercise mentality can be challenging for beginners, even in the comfort of their home gym. Start slowly rather than diving in headfirst. Low-impact exercises are perfect for getting newbies into an active routine. Since it is easier on the body, many people, including elite athletes and fitness buffs, still favor low-impact exercise.


If you ever avoided exercises because of the risk of pain or injuries, then there’s an excellent alternative for you: low impact exercises that are less strenuous.

A nice pair of shoes and some comfortable workout attire are all needed to get started with several low-impact activities that provide the same advantages as high-intensity routines without the risk of injury.

A few examples of low-impact workouts are swimming, yoga, Pilates, dance, cycling, and even some forms of strength training. Plus, you can make these routines as difficult or easy as you choose by adjusting the equipment you utilize.