While most people try to avoid cardio workouts, it is an essential part of any fitness routine. However, for some people, high-impact workouts involve running, jumping, and plyometrics (rapid speed and movements to build muscles, such as box jumps) without pain or injury. Fortunately, there are a lot of low-impact workouts that can help you get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular health without putting too much strain on your joints. In this blog, Gym Plus will take a look at the benefits of low-impact workouts, along with some tips on how to incorporate cardio into your workout.
What is low-impact exercise?
Low-impact workouts are a type of exercise that puts minimal stress on your joints, making it ideal for people who suffer from joint pain or have injuries. These activities are gentler on the joints, making them an excellent option for people who want to maintain their fitness without risking an injury.
Benefits of low-impact exercise
Below are just some of the primary benefits of a low-impact workout.
Reduced chance of injury
As they are low-impact, you have less chance of injury compared to high-impact workouts. So while you’ll still need to pay attention to your breathing and form, you can rebuild your strength after an injury.
Allows more activity
As it is lower-impact, you can exercise for longer periods of time, as they allow your body to recover. Low-impact exercises reduces the need for rest days so you can remain consistently active.
Mental health benefits
Exercise, in general, is said to help with depression and anxiety. Low-impact workouts such as walking or swimming will boost your mood, give you energy, and reduce your anxiety.
There is a common misconception that only high-impact workouts will burn calories. This is not true; low-impact workouts work just as well as high-impact does.
Choosing the right workout for you
As there are plenty of low-impact workouts to choose from, the best one for your individual needs will depend on your fitness levels, interests, and if you have any health conditions. Below are some of the best low-impact exercises:
Walking is a great, low-impact exercise that can be done almost anywhere. Walking can be done indoors or outdoors, and all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes.
Stationary bikes are an excellent option for a low-impact cardio workout. They can be adjusted to your fitness level and are perfect for individuals with knee or joint pain.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that provides a full-body workout. It’s an excellent option for individuals with arthritis or chronic pain.
Step machines simulate climbing stairs and provide a low-impact cardio workout. They’re ideal for individuals who want to strengthen their legs without putting undue stress on their joints.
Elliptical machines provide a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints. They’re perfect for individuals who want to improve their cardiovascular fitness without risking injury.
How cardio helps your routine
Cardio is essential for improving your cardiovascular health, burning calories, and maintaining a healthy weight. Incorporating cardio into your low-impact workout routine can help you achieve these goals while minimizing the risk of injury. When you do low-impact cardio, you increase your heart rate and breathing, leading to improved fitness and endurance.
How to make low-impact more intense
If you want to make your low-impact workout more challenging, there are several ways to do so. You can increase the resistance or incline on your stationary bike or elliptical machine. You can also try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, which involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest. Another option is to add weights to your low-impact exercises to increase the difficulty.
Incorporating cardio into your low-impact workout routine is an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health while minimising the risk of injury. With the many low-impact exercise options available, you’re sure to find a workout that fits your interests and fitness level. Remember to choose a workout that’s right for you.