In modern times, it is wrongly assumed that only high impact exercises can give the desired benefits in terms of weight loss, lowering the risk of heart diseases, etc. However, there are a number of low impact exercises which give the same, if not more, benefits. According to studies which were conducted, effective low impact exercises are capable of elevating the heart rate of the person to a level greater than 50% of the maximum for that person. There are a number of benefits of doing these exercises. They are effective not only for weight loss and weight maintenance, but they also assist in rehabilitation.
Walking
Walking is one popular exercise under this category. However, when you opt for walking, you will have to make sure that you do not walk at the pace as though you were strolling in a garden. You should walk fast. When you pick up speed, you increase the intensity of your low impact workout. Adding short bursts of speed to walking workouts also helps in increasing the intensity of the workout. Short bursts also increase the number of calories burned. Swinging the arms while you are walking will give an added impetus to the low impact workout. However, do not hold weights in your hands when you are walking, as the weights may cause injury. On some days, you can alternate walks with a swim or climb a hill, etc., so that you derive better benefits from your workout.
Stair Climbing
Among the low impact workouts, this is my favorite exercise. You can choose to walk on either real stairs, or revolving stairs at the gym. This gives an incredible and intense workout and also increases the heart rate. If you are new to workouts, then you can choose to add a few minutes of stair climbing to your workout. You will notice that it is not difficult to increase your heart rate with this form of low workout exercise.
Step Aerobics
If you like to work out with music, then step aerobics exercises is an option which you may want to explore. Without jumping around you can increase your heart rate significantly. At the same time, it will not cause an impact on the joints, as would pounding hi/lo aerobics. Using your arms will not only add fun to the workout, but also help in working out the lazy muscles of the arms.
Swimming
Swimming is especially good for people who suffer from joint problems. It is a low physical impact exercise for the entire body, but at the same time, it is very intense as well. The energy required by the body to swim is significant, hence the number of calories burned by the body in an hour of swimming is equal to distance running, but it is very soft on the joints.
Cycling
A person may choose to cycle for recreational and non-competitive levels. Cycling has the same impact as hard sprinting or hill climbing. Mountain biking certainly has more impact as compared to regular cycling.
If want to do low impact exercises like you would, at the gym, then you will have to make sure you choose exercises which involve intense stretching and strengthening components. It is good to create resistance with the body weight and then stretch those particular musculoskeletal groups. Yoga, pilates exercises, kick-boxing, etc., are some of the other exercises, which can also prove to be beneficial. However, make sure you take professional guidance and help, in order to avoid any injuries.