Low-impact exercise and calorie-burning exercise can be one and the same. Just because you’re going easy on your joints doesn’t mean you can’t see major results. Here are 10 low-impact exercises that will help you torch calories without causing too much impact on your body.
We often have a difficult time believing that basic, simple things can be good for us. There’s nothing simpler than walking, and yet its benefits are numerous. If you’re a 140-pound woman walking on a flat surface at a decent pace (3.5 miles per hour), you can expect to burn 181 calories an hour. That’s not bad for simply putting one foot in front of the other over and over. If you don’t have the time or motivation to go to the gym or do a super-involved workout, put on a pair of walking shoes and get outside for 30 minutes. You can make things more difficult by varying your speed and incline, so look for hilly areas where you can challenge yourself.
2. Elliptical Machine
If going to the gym is your thing, get on the elliptical machine for an effective low-impact workout. The elliptical puts much less stress on your legs than a treadmill, so it’s an especially good idea if you’re prone to injury. There are many ways to mix up your elliptical workout: try a few of these workouts to start.
3. Barre Workouts
Barre routines are deceptive because they look so dainty and graceful, but underneath they’re sculpting muscles and blazing calories. When you combine light weights with ballet-inspired moves done at a cardio pace, what do you get? 650 calories burned, that’s what. Barre workouts are no joke.
If you’re wondering why this Latin-inspired dance class has become so popular, here’s a hint: the vigorous dance moves burn 350 calories in 45 minutes. What makes this type of workout different from, say, running, is that it doesn’t even feel like a workout – it feels like a fun hour spent dancing with friends.
If the rowing machine at your gym is always empty, seize the opportunity to take advantage of a golden workout everyone else is missing out on. Rowing – whether on the machine or in an actual boat – targets your arms, back, leg and core muscles. It’s a full-body workout that you can do sitting down. Does it get any better?
Hit all the major muscle groups, burn 400 to 700 calories an hour, and stay cool by jumping in the pool for your workout. Swimming is one of those magical exercises that lets you tone your muscles and do cardio at the same time, so say yes to workouts in the water.
Riding a bike outdoors (or on a stationary one inside) is a great way to decrease impact and get a gentle workout in. Just because it’s gentle, though, doesn’t mean it’s not highly effective – have you ever seen the legs of a person who bikes every day? Put less stress on your spine while still getting your cardio in and sculpting muscles by hopping on a bike for your next workout.
If you’re looking for a workout that will transport you away from the stresses of daily life, give this gentle movement a try. Burn 125 to 150 calories in 30 minutes while getting your heart rate up to 60 percent with this ancient Chinese workout. While you’re burning calories, you’ll also work on your strength, flexibility, concentration and balance.
This Pilates and yoga fusion takes the best of both practices to give you a workout that delivers high results without a lot of strain on your body. This is another workout that does it all at once: it’s cardio, sculpting, strengthening and stretching in one session.
High intensity intervals don’t have to mean high impact. This workout focuses on low impact moves that scorch calories quickly. This is a hardcore workout that’s done in 25 minutes, but its impact on the joints is minimal.