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5 Surprisingly Effective Options for Low-Impact Exercise

5 Surprisingly Effective Options for Low-Impact Exercise

Move Mindfully with These Low-Impact Exercise Ideas

 The urge to want to start losing weight and look fit this summer can be intense. No one likes the idea of being uncomfortable in a suit at the beach. And, of course, just as the new year starts we see marketers pushing vitamins, supplements and exercise equipment because they know what’s on our minds. We want to cut the fat fast, cleanse of 2017 and start looking fit and it seems the best way to do that is to jump into exercises with HIGH impact. Let’s get our butts in gear, get in a brutal boot camp, start an intense workout regimen and make things happen, right? The only problem is, for many people, this type of approach to exercise isn’t sustainable and can actually damage our joints and muscles. But, before you see this as inspiration to skip tonight’s gym session, consider a low-impact exercise.

Low-impact exercises can help you get that heart-pumping, sweat-inducing, calorie-killing action while still building muscle and protecting your joints. They are low-impact on your tender joints and high-impact on your results. The best part is that many low-impact exercises can be fun, which makes them easier to incorporate into your daily life. As part of the Mindful Movement of 2018, we have rounded up 5 low-impact exercise ideas that are surprisingly effective. 


Low-Impact Exercise #1: Walking

walking low-impact exerciseAverage Calories Burned: 160-180 for 60 mins (for a 130lb person at a brisk walk) 

Walking can be a surprisingly powerful low-impact exercise. It engages nearly every muscle in the body and is much easier to do for long periods of time because it’s enjoyable too. There are also several ways to boost the effects of walking by increasing speed and elevation or even adding ankle weights to really punch up your heart rate. Sometimes the best exercise is the kind you don’t even realize you’re doing. 

Low-Impact Exercise #2: Strength Training 

strength training low-impact exerciseAverage Calories Burned: 224 for 60 mins (for a 155lb person) 

Strength training is a well-known solution for helping you work up a sweat while still being a low-impact exercise. It focuses on helping you build muscle which does more than just burn calories. Building muscle means protecting your joints and making you less prone to injury in addition to having a more direct impact on the structure and look of your body. The best part is strength training doesn’t require much space or time. A brief 30 mins workout in your living room can make great change. We tracked down a favorite online resource for free workouts for all levels – check out FitnessBlender.com. 

Low-Impact Exercise #3: Stair Climbing 

stair climbing low-impact exerciseAverage Calories Burned: 290 for 30 mins (for a 155lb person) 

Walking up the stairs even at a moderate pace works the large muscle groups in your body and quickly elevates your heart rate. It strengthens your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles and calves engaging your entire lower body. What we like best about this low-impact exercise is that it makes a great focused exercise or add-on. Use a step machine or traditional stairs for a focused workout or simply skip the elevator for an added calorie burn. Either way, stairs are a great option on your climb to better health. 

Low-Impact Exercise #4: Swimming

swimming low-impact exerciseAverage Calories Burned: 415 for 60 mins (for a 130lb person swimming freestyle) 
This low-impact exercise is one of our favorites because it is so effective but can be so relaxing. Swimming has been proven to not only be a great calorie-burner but also strengthens muscles and improve lung function. This would be a clever way to get some relaxation time while also fitting in a highly effective low-impact exercise. Swimming might not be an option for daily exercise (since we don’t all own pools) but could be a great way to get in some weekend fun without skipping your workout or to go for an evening splash at the local gym to wind down after work. 


Low-Impact Exercise #5: Yoga

yoga low-impact exerciseAverage Calories Burned: 120 for 30 mins (for a 130lb person) 

Yoga is a famous low-impact exercise and another of our favorites for it stress-reducing benefits. Yoga looks calm and slow on the outside but can be deceptively powerful. Though it’s no sweaty spin-class, yoga is a sweet combination of strength training and stretching that calms the body while burning calories. Yoga is also highly accessible, there are many free or paid training videos available online or, if you prefer including a workout buddy, there are several local studios and gyms. This could make a great option for destressing or as a weekend morning activity. 


Low-impact exercise is a great way to be mindful about your movement. We hope these ideas inspire you to think more creatively about your exercise routine and give you some inspiration to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Keep in mind that although these exercise options are low-impact you still need to choose the right fit for your needs.

BONUS! In celebration of our Mindful Movement, we are featuring a special offer on our Meditation Massage and Mindful Spa Experience. These could be a great way to reward your exercise efforts or smooth out sore muscles. Simply use the code MINDFUL for 10% OFF when you book online. Or call us directly at 775.772.0032 and mention the Mindful Movement. 


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