10 Low-Impact Workouts to Try in 2021
The most common New Year's resolutions are related to exercise. From losing weight to training for a marathon, many people are looking to get fit this year. However, not all workouts are created equal.
High-impact workouts put a lot of stress on the muscles and joints. While they're great for building muscle mass, this isn't always the goal of exercise. High-impact workouts lead to more injuries than fitness activities.
If you're looking for other ways to get fit without the risk, look at low-impact workouts. Here are some you can try in 2021:
1. Water Sports
Whether in the lake or at the pool, water is your best friend when it comes to low-impact workouts. Water provides resistance while slowing the body's motions, reducing impacts.
There are a variety of water sports to choose from. While swimming is the classic choice, it's not the most exciting. Paddle boarding is relaxing and great for the shoulders. Kayaking is a fun way to explore the outdoors while still getting a good workout in. If you love the water, there is a long list of water sports you should try out.
Grab a bike and hit the road! Bicycling will have you feeling like an Olympian in no time. You can move at your own pace, explore new areas of town, and burn plenty of calories along the way.
Don't have a bike of your own? Chances are good your gym has a stationary bicycle. Stationary bikes have similar benefits to traditional ones, plus they can be used indoors.
Take care of your mind while exercising your body by taking up yoga. Anyone can do it, regardless of their fitness level or experience. All you need to do is find a group in your community or an online guide to get started.
Yoga is all about stretching and body positioning, but don't worry if you're not very flexible. You'll limber up quickly, and you'll lower your stress levels to boot.
4. Bodyweight Exercises
Instead of resorting to heavy weights for your exercise, rely on your own body to get the training you need. Some types of resistance training add equipment like bands for a more intense workout.
Resistance training is a great way to build strength. You can also get in a resistance workout virtually anywhere. No apartment is too small for a pushup and situp rotation.
If you really want to leverage your body weight in a workout, take up climbing. Nothing will work your muscles harder than lifting yourself up a wall with nothing but grip strength.
Although it sounds hardcore, rock climbing doesn't involve hard impacts (unless you fall, of course). The one problem with it is that you typically need to find a facility for it. If you use it frequently, however, you'll find the membership costs more than reasonable.
6. Dance Aerobics
Who says you can't have fun while getting in shape? Dance classes will teach you a new skill, connect you with new people, and get your blood pumping all at the once.
If you're a little shy, you can follow a routine online until you build enough confidence to join a class. Online and at studios, dance aerobics routines vary widely in style and difficulty.
If you have access to a gym, choose the elliptical over the treadmill. Treadmills are notorious for their heavy impact, putting pressure on the joints with every footfall. Ellipticals run smoothly, getting your body moving without the hard impacts.
If you don't find the elliptical challenging enough, increase the resistance. Use your arms to propel you for a whole-body workout.
8. Stair Climber
Another piece of low-impact gym equipment is the stair climber. It's no harder on the joints than walking, but it will absolutely get your heart rate up.
If you're staying clear of the gym until COVID-19 blows over, you can use stadium bleachers for a similar workout. Just be careful, as bleachers tend to get slippery when it rains.
An old-fashioned hike is one of the best forms of exercise. Hiking burns calories, gets you outdoors, and varies your step.
Don't have access to mountain trails? Head to a nearby park. Take the dog, the kids, or the neighbors for some extra company.
10. Cross-Country Skiing
Still too cold outside for your favorite activities? Bundle up and try cross-country skiing. You'll want to shed the winter coat once you find out just how demanding this sport is.
If you're not much of a skier, try snowshoeing or snowboarding. Most winter recreation facilities rent equipment, meaning you can try any of the three activities for a nominal fee. If you do fall, the snow you're on will cushion the impact. Bring a buddy and some hot chocolate to warm up afterward.
Low impact is not the same as low intensity. You can work up a sweat with any of these low-impact options. Add them into your routine, and you might just discover your new favorite workout.