The Most Painless Workout Method Ever

Popular for those who are more “I want to get in shape” than “Ironman-ready,” low-impact workouts might not have you running ragged—but that doesn’t mean these fitness fixes can’t be calorie-torchers, fat blasters and the jump-start to some serious body-toning.

What They Are
While some fitness experts argue whether one foot or both should technically be on the ground in order to label a workout low-impact, everyone agrees that low-impact workouts decrease stress on the body. In other words the impact they have on your joints and bones is low—hence the term low-impact. Robin Walden, fitness director at The Biggest Loser Resort in Ivins, UT, says, “Low-impact exercise is considered to be movement and activity that doesn’t put a lot of stress and extra impact on the joints. But the intensity of the workouts can be low, moderate, or high depending on the goal of the participant.”

Who Can Benefit
Rachel Williams, nutritionist at The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia says, “Low-impact activities reduce stress on the joints of the hips, knees and ankles so they are a great option for people suffering from injuries, arthritis, osteoporosis or stress fractures. And people who are new to exercise can start with low-impact workouts to build stamina and strength and reduce the risk of injury.” Fitness center supervisor at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, Debbie Delarosa adds, “A knowledgeable trainer can show the various levels of modification and make everyone feel successful no matter what level they are at.”

How They Work
Low-impact workouts offer a stress-free way to burn calories and get in shape— but how they work depends on what type of low-impact workout you do. Things like walking and water aerobics are best for cardiovascular fitness and weight loss while weight training and yoga are best for strengthening and toning muscles. Williams adds, “It is a good idea to mix the type of workouts to achieve cardiovascular improvement, toning and strength goals, and to maintain motivation and enjoyment.”

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