Low impact workouts are those that do not exert direct pressure on your joints and where your one foot remains on the ground or equipment at all times. These workouts are particularly useful in promoting healing and recovery of your injured joints such as knees, ankles, hip joint, and your backbone. Cardio workout includes any exercise that increases the activity of your heart to deliver more oxygen to the muscle cells. It uses large muscle groups repetitively over a sustained period of time and improves the overall function of your heart and lungs.

Low Impact Cardio Workouts to Try

Here are some of the low impact cardio workouts and their benefits:


Without stressing your joints, walking is the best workout to burn your calories:

  • To begin with, you need a pair of good quality walking shoes

  • Start with small steps at a brisk pace and later pick up the speed to add intensity

  • The calorie burnout depends on your weight, the total distance covered and the effort you put into walking

  • Walking helps in reducing weight and prevents the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes



  • Roller skating strengthens your muscles in thigh, hip, back, upper arms and shoulders. It strengthens your heart muscle and increases blood and oxygen supply to other tissues

  • If you suffer from knee or hip joint problem that exacerbates on jogging, this exercise exerts less impact while providing the same health benefits and burns equivalent calories and fat

  • It is a perfect workout for both cardio and calorie expenditure. You can burn more than 200 calories if you do skating for half an hour



  • This aerobic exercise engages your large muscle groups in a continuous and rhythmic manner and increases your heart rate and pumping ability

  • It is easy on joints and works your glutes, quads, and hamstrings

  • Recumbent exercise bikes are more comfortable and ideal for beginners as they offer excellent back support and do not strain your body

  • You can burn an estimated of 600 calories in an hour by cycling depending on your weight and work intensity

  • It builds your muscular strength, refines your body posture, makes your bone strong, enhances your stamina, boosts your immunity, reduces fat, and improves the performance of your heart and lungs


Elliptical machines

Elliptical trainers are equipped with pedals to place your feet and the moving handlebars that can be pushed and pulled with your hands

  • Walk or run at your own pace by stepping into the pedals to develop your quads, glutes, hamstring and calves. If you are using the moving handles, then it will work on your upper body as well

  • The benefits of this low impact cardio workout includes muscle building, increased endurance, calorie and fat burn, improved blood circulation, stress reduction, mood elevation, and strong immunity


Water exercises

  • Water aerobics are more gentle on your joints than land-based exercises as water support most of your body weight and provides increase flexibility

  • This fun activity strengthens and build your entire body muscles and consumes an average of 200 calories in half hour

  • These exercises increase your heart efficiency, provides cushioning effect to your joints , relieve your body stress and relax your spastic muscles

  • Water aerobics is ideal for anyone including elderly, obese or those who have an injury and are undergoing rehab for their joints



Rower works to build your lower body muscles, primarily the quads and to a lesser extent the calves and glutes. It also tones your shoulder, upper back and lower back muscles

  • Begin this exercise by using your leg muscles for pushing yourself away from the resistance mechanism. Make sure that your your back is straight. Then row smoothly by pulling the handles towards your chest

  • The rowing action of this machine is low impact that helps in building muscles without straining your joints

  • This machine burns 600 calories in an hour and assists in weight reduction. It also boosts your endurance level and releases endorphins which induce happiness and better sleep



As one of the best low impact cardios, yoga consists of deep breathing exercises and various stretching and strengthening poses which not only improves muscle tonicity and flexibility but also relaxes your body and mind.

  • You can burn an average of 200 calories in half hour session of yoga. If you want to increase your fat burn you can try some fast paced yoga types such as Bikram yoga, power yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Zero gravity yoga etc.

  • Yoga is great in keeping your heart healthy, controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decreasing the risk of developing diabetes mellitus, preventing cancer and keeping your bones and joints strong



  • Hiking is excellent for your cardiovascular health, helps in losing weight, builds your core and endurance, improves your proprioceptive ability and increases your bone density

  • If you are a beginner then start with short and easy hikes and gradually increase your intensity for high-grade terrain

  • Use poles to assist in moving yourself forward. This maneuver pushes your upper body muscles and strengthens them along with building your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps



  • This low impact cardio exercise first originated in China and is popular in preventing many chronic diseases including cancer

  • In this practice, you continuously perform slow circular movements while focusing on deep breathing and meditation

  • Tai-Chi works on both on your upper and lower body muscles and also builds your core and abs. You can burn 140 calories after doing this for thirty minutes

  • This slow motion exercise has a number of advantages such as it decreases the risk of falling in elderly by improving the balance, improves flexibility of muscles and accelerates your heart rate and circulation


Canoeing and Kayaking

  • Before planning for canoeing or kayaking, learn swimming in case you fall down into the water

  • These activities do not pressurize your joints and primarily work on your muscles of arms, shoulders, back and chest. All you need to do is paddling a boat through water. It also increases strength of your leg and abdominal muscles

  • This aerobic exercise is beneficial for your overall body health and fitness as well as mental health


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