Sometimes life happens hard, like getting in an accident, sustaining sports injuries, tendinitis, or chronic health problems. If weight loss or athletic conditioning is your goal, but injury or health issues prevent you from doing exercises that you normally rely on (like running), then you need to find some exercises that are low impact but still high intensity.
Low impact is not to be confused with low intensity: intensity and impact are two different things in fitness that are often related but can be independent. Low impact exercises can certainly be high intensity if you choose the right ones.
Whether you’re looking for weight loss that is long-term and isn’t hard on your joints, if you’re working through injuries and want to keep your conditioning up, or you just need to have some low-impact options to add into your fitness routine, here are 3 low-impact exercises that you should add into your regular workout routine today.
Strength training & Weight lifting
One of the single best ways to lose body fat (besides getting your eating habits on track) is strength training. Notice I said lose body fat, not lose weight…there is a subtle difference there but an important one!
Weight lifting and strength training during weight loss is crucial to any weight loss program (like the ones from Kiqplan). It can actually change your metabolism and can it will help shape your body and change your body composition.
Let me explain: muscle is metabolically active tissue – the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism. Your body has to work just to maintain your muscle mass and keep those muscles working. When a person loses weight, a good percentage of the weight that is lost is muscle mass if you are not working to maintain your muscle mass. When you lose a lot of muscle mass, your metabolism drops significantly. If you lose weight but lose a lot of muscle too, you will be smaller but your metabolism will be slower too, making subsequent weight gain nearly inevitable.
If you’re trying to shape up, make fat loss the goal (not jut weight loss) and work to maintain muscle mass by lifting weights, strength training, and eating enough quality protein. Don’t just weight yourself, but also get your body composition checked regularly to make sure that you are reaching your fat loss goals.
There are so many fun ways to add strength training into your routine! If you’re looking for ways to keep your heart rate up during weight lifting and strength training workouts, try super sets, giant sets, and circuits. Throw in some low-impact metabolic exercises like kettlebell swings, sled pushes, and battle ropes to keep your workouts interesting and high intensity.
Swimming is a phenomenal workout! And I have to admit, I really suck at swimming laps. During my first triathlon, I was one of the last people out of the pool after the swim. I really am a terrible swimmer!
That being said, if you can get yourself in the water and have a basic grasp of swimming technique, you can crush your workout goals! Swimming really gets all of your big muscle groups working (back, arms, legs) without impact, making this an excellent option if you have bad knees or lower extremity joint problems.
Swimming laps is a great way to torch calories, some strokes are more effective than others: a 135-lb woman doing a vigorous butterfly stroke can burn 600+ calories an hour.
Our first triathlon! Swimming is my weakest link…
Like swimming, rowing is also a fantastic full-body workout! With rowing you work all of your major muscle groups with properly executed rowing: core, upper back, legs, and arms. The rowing machine is also one of my favorite machines to take my clients through for warm-ups before workouts for that very reason!
Rowing works your muscles and keeps your heart rate high: strength training and cardio rolled into one awesome workout. Pretty cool! If you’re curious about how many calories you are burning during your rowing workouts, try an activity tracker like the affordable FitBug Orb to track your activity and workouts.
Here are some other low impact exercises you can do to add variety to your workouts:
- Stair stepper
- Arm cycle