The Fitness Papers: Low Impact Cardio Alternatives
High-intensity interval training is all the rage because it helps burn calories fast. But when you HI(I)T it too hard, your joints can suffer. The good news: Your workout doesn’t have to be fast to be effective. You don’t need to stop HIIT workouts altogether, but try incorporating low-impact cardio options for a safer, more sustainable fitness routine.
Every once in a while, you should give your body a break from pounding the pavement, whether you’re running, dancing, or playing sports. They’re easier on your body and they can be a great way to get in a heart-pumping workout without worrying too much about injuries.
We’ve rounded up 10 low- (or no!) impact exercises worth trying:
- Walking – It is a stress-free way to get moving. Hit the hills or add weights (try dumbbells or ankle weights) to really get that heart rate up and for additional intensity.
- Elliptical Training – For a low-impact cardio session at the gym, nix the treadmill. In addition to recruiting leg muscles, get your upper body involved by grabbing the handles to target your arms and chest.
- Cycling – Biking is a great way to fit in some exercise without putting a strain on your joints. And you don’t even need to sign up for an indoor cycling class to see results.
- Rowing – It is a super-easy way to get in some cardio while also working out your arms, back, legs, and core.
- Hiking – Looking to upgrade your walks? Take a hike! To keep things low impact, start with low-grade terrain.
- Yoga – The ancient practice will have you feeling the burn without feeling the pain. Add some downward dogs and half-moons to your fitness routine. Or try aerial yoga to really take your practice to new heights.
- TRX – Users do total-body resistance exercises using a strap suspension system. The workout is easy on your joints but challenging for the rest of your body.
- Swimming – It’s a great low-impact exercise with a boatload of benefits, from strengthening your shoulders to improving lung function.
- Rollerblading – Let’s take a trip back to the ’90s and strap on some rollerblades. Gliding on pavement puts less stress on your limbs while still burning calories. Just make sure you remember how to stop.
- Step Climber – Make moveable stairs work for you. Using a step climber is a great way to increase your calorie burn. The focus on quads, hamstrings, glutes and core means you target some of the biggest muscles in your body. The result: You’ll torch more calories in less time. Increasing your muscle mass (and strengthening those heavy hitters) also helps boost your resting metabolism. The low-impact nature of the step climber is especially good for athletes with aching backs during running or spin classes. The most important form tip: making sure your posture is tall and your core is engaged. Resist the urge to slump forward or rest your entire upper body on the handlebars.
There are many ways to get a great high intensity workout. You just need to know what your options are.
No matter what activities you choose to do, DOT store carries all sorts of apparel, shoes and accessories to meet your needs. Check it out now!