6 Of The Best Low Impact Exercises

At Health Rewards we’re committed to helping you live a healthy lifestyle regardless of your age or fitness levels. We realise that not everyone is able to take part in high impact sports like running or football.

Low impact exercises can improve your health, fitness and wellbeing without causing pain to your joints and muscles. Research has shown that moderate intensity, low impact exercise, for example using an elliptical machine or yoga, can be just as effective as high impact exercise such as running, in improving your health.

Low impact exercises are great for everyone, but particularly for people who are: over the age of 50, overweight, struggle with injuries, or are recovering from injury. So what the best low impact, calorie burning exercises? Here’s a list of 6 of the best. These are easy, accessible exercises that can be done by most people:


Walking is by far the most popular low-impact exercise. It is easy, accessible and can
be worked into any part of the day. It works the cardiovascular system and burns calories. To get your heart rate up you will need to pick the pace a little, change pace frequently or walk up a steep hill.

It’s safe, free and sustainable and great for all ages.


Swimming is a great aerobic workout for people with suffering with joint and back pain, people recovering from injury and people with weight issues. Swimming works the whole body, making it a great way to tone up and get trim. If you swim at a steady and continuous pace throughout your session it can aid weight loss, and you can get a good aerobic workout if you increase the pace.


Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that uses strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental health. It is a relaxing and very low impact exercise.

Studies have suggested yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, particularly  in strength, flexibility and balance. Some evidence has shown that yoga can be beneficial for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, joint and back pain, depression and stress.

Elliptical Machines

Exercising on an elliptical machine can give you a thorough workout without the stress
on your hips, knees and back associated with running. This is because your feet remain on the ground at all times. Elliptical machines with handles will work your upper body as well.

Ellipticals are easy to use, pain-free, and an easy way to start exercising for most people.


A gentle cycle can be a great way to get low impact exercise whilst enjoying a scenic trip; or can make your commute to work a lot more healthy.

Make sure your bike is fitted for your body size as an inappropriate bike can cause discomfort and knee problems.

Cycling is an aerobic exercise that works your lower body and cardiovascular system. Start slowly and increase the length of your cycling sessions gradually. If your looking to burn a lot of calories, sign up for a Spin class.

Rowing Machine

The rowing machine is one of the most under used pieces of gym equipment. But it is actually a great full body toner and is on of the few cardio machines that engage your upper body muscles. When you row, you’re using your whole body – upper, lower, core – simultaneously.  If you row constantly, your heart rate stays elevated throughout the entire session, so it can burn a lot of calories if used correctly – the harder your row, the more calories you will burn!

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For more info on low impact exercises, check out the links below:

Low Impact Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

8 Low Impact Exercises To Add To Your Workout

21 Low-Impact Workouts That Are More Effective Than You Think