What is Cardio?
These are just exercises that don’t put a lot of stress or shock on the body.
With low-impact cardio, at least one foot always stays on the ground, so your joints, such as your knees and ankles, can absorb less shock from the force you apply to them. For example, running is a high-impact exercise because both feet are lifted off the ground at the same time at higher speeds. When walking, you only need to lift one leg off the ground, so although it has some effect, it is much less.
Some exercises, such as swimming, do not affect the joints. There are no gravitational forces pulling you down.
Other examples of low-stress cardio workouts include elliptical exercises, rowing, dancing, biking, and hiking. While these workouts are easier on your joints, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easier on your heart.
You can do low-impact cardio, as intense as plyometric and high-impact running workouts, by increasing your pace, shortening recovery times between sets, or adding resistance. Interval training can also be low-intensity and high-intensity workouts, as they increase the challenge and rest periods are shorter.
4 Benefits of Low Impact Cardio
Whether you’re dealing with joint problems or not, low (or no) impact cardiovascular exercise takes place in everyone’s workout routine.
Reduces the risk of injury
Exercise with low cardiovascular effects changes the structure of the load on the muscles, tendons, and bones. Your body reacts to stress by strengthening itself. But by doing some of the less-impact activities that stress you in different ways, you can reduce your risk of injury from overuse.
They also minimize stress on the joints of the body to reduce the risk of injury in people with pre-existing osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases, and other joint problems.
It’s a great way to train easily.
Low-intensity cardio can be useful for people who are just starting out, or for those who are a little older, whose joints, tendons, and ligaments are not as mobile. Everyone can use low-impact exercises to help them stay fit and avoid injury.
Because low-intensity cardio exercise reduces the risk of over-injury, it can help you develop a consistent training habit from day one of your plan. Train your body to match basic movement patterns with the correct shape so you can do your workouts safely and effectively.
Strengthen your heart
All types of cardiovascular exercise (low or high stress, low or high intensity) help strengthen your heart. But the harder your heart works (the higher your heart rate), the stronger it is. Therefore, consider increasing the intensity of your low-intensity workouts.
For example, if walking slowly is good for your heart, then brisk walking, cycling, or swimming is even better. If your body can handle higher intensity workouts, it’s a good idea to do some of them every week.
Promotes Muscle Endurance
Because they allow the joints to perceive less strength, low-impact cardiovascular workouts such as cycling, rowing, and the elliptical trainer can help improve your overall athletic performance.
This is why many cross-training programs for running include low-intensity cardio. By maintaining healthy joints, you can exercise for longer, thereby increasing cardiovascular endurance.
If cycling and rowing seem monotonous and not for you, consider a training regimen in which you alternate between different low-impact strength exercises, with little to no rest in between.
It can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Like high-potency cardio, it helps burn calories and fat and improve blood sugar control.
For example, in an adult, moderate cardio on a rowing machine burns 200 to 300 calories in just 30 minutes. Turn on high-intensity intervals and you can burn calories during and after your workout as your body recovers.
Best Low Impact Cardio Exercises
If you need to relax or just want to diversify your workout routine, try these cardio exercises.
If you’re coming back from an injury or a break in exercise, walking is one of the best low-impact activities you can do, especially if you’re running. Walking has the best effect of jogging, even 30 minutes of walking can have health benefits.
A ride on the bicycle
From a biomechanical standpoint, cycling is remotely different from running. This makes it ideal for cross-training. It’s a great way to increase your heart rate and breathe more actively without putting pressure on the problems that can arise from hard work in the main sport.
Cycling is an exercise that does not support weight, which allows you to endure hours for hours without affecting your joints. Riding the slopes will provide an intense and heart-healthy workout.
When it comes to low-intensity cardio workouts, dancing may not be the most important thing because people equate it with excellence and a professional career. But just because you’re not a pro runner doesn’t mean you can’t run. It’s the same with dancing.
Dance training is an effective replacement for traditional cardio and provides the same aerobic benefits when done regularly.
Swimming or water training
Like cycling, swimming does not require weight-bearing. Learning techniques can be challenging and may require professional training. However, you don’t have to swim with the agility of an Olympic athlete for a good workout.
An alternative to swimming is water running, essentially running on the water without touching the bottom, and also water aerobics. Both have practically no effect, but at the same time, they heavily load muscles and cardio.
Rowing machines are now more popular than ever as a way to work and strengthen cardio and muscle at the same time. With each movement, you work your lower body, back, and arms, all the while sitting.
Master the correct technique at a slow pace before moving on to faster, more aggressive strikes. On many new home rowing machines, you can also adjust the intensity of your workout by increasing resistance.