Effective Low-Impact Cardio Exercises

High-impact cardio exercises can take a serious toll on your body. If you suffer from weak joints such as your knees or ankles, exercises like running can actually weaken your body rather than strengthen it. Low-impact exercises are a great way to get your heart rate up and tone your body without the risk of injury.

Here are some of the best low-impact exercises out there. Use these exercises to replace your current cardio routine or simply implement these exercises a couple times a week to give your joints and muscles a break. Your body will thank you.

#1: Walking
While a seemingly easy exercise, walking is actually a great cardio exercise to lose weight, tone muscles and get your heart rate up. You can take a simple leisurely stroll, or try power walking. You can also implement weights or hills to your walks too. You can choose to walk on a treadmill where you can control the pace and incline or try taking a walk outside and reaping the benefits of fresh air in addition to exercise.


#2: Elliptical
Ellipticals are one of the best low-impact workouts. They mimic running motions but don’t require you to move your feet off the surface. This way they lessen the impact on your joints and don’t cause stress to your body. Ellipticals still provide a great workout when used effectively and can really spike your heart rate. There are countless elliptical routines available online that vary in degree of difficulty with resistance and incline. 

#3: Yoga
In addition to being incredibly beneficial for spiritual and emotional health, yoga is an extremely effective exercise as well. There are several types of yoga but typically for cardio you would do a vinyasa flow routine. These routines focus on stretching and moving through the poses in a continuous motion which spikes the heart rate and even helps cleanse the body. Yoga also helps tone all the muscle groups from head to toe and increase flexibility as well.

 #4: Swimming
Swimming is a great alternative to high-impact cardio that will still deliver maximum benefits. The water helps to negate stress on the joints and can actually soothe muscles and joints so they are less susceptible to injury. Swimming can be a great workout if done properly and will tone your whole body. It can also improve lung function and capacity as well.

 #5: Rollerblading
Similar to the elliptical, rollerblading mimics running movements with less stress on the joints. Since you rarely have to lift your feet off the ground completely when rollerblading, your muscles and joints won’t be put under as much pressure. Oftentimes, exercises like running can really jolt the joints as your feet heat the pavement/treadmill. So next time you’re feeling like a low-impact cardio routine, strap on your roller blades and head outside.