What is Low-Impact Activity?

Low Impact Activity

Low-impact activities are exercises that require minimal force between the body and another object, such as the ground. This form of activity is generally regarded as a good starting place for those interested in becoming more physically active.

During a low-impact activity, the amount of stress placed on the joints, bones and muscles is much less than experienced with other forms of exercise. This helps to protect joints like the knees, hips and ankles from injury.

Low impact activity is recommended for people who are:

  • Overweight
  • New to exercise
  • Have a history of joint pain, arthritis or chronic pain
  • Are pregnant

The American Heart Association recommends that every healthy adult engage in at least 30 minutes of activity daily. To reach this goal, you may consider engaging in low-impact activity for several small increments every day, such as three 10 minute walks.

Types of Low Impact Activity

Many forms of low-impact activities are aerobic. Also known as cardiovascular activity, this is a form of exercise that targets the largest muscle groups in the body—like the heart.

Low impact aerobic activities are beneficial in enhancing blood circulation, reducing risk of heart disease and encouraging weight loss. They are also proven to boost mental health and naturally increase energy levels.

Examples of low impact activity include:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Elliptical workouts
  • Yoga

There are several characteristics that differentiate low-impact activity from other moderate and high intensity exercises. Low-impact activities require little to no jumping, pounding or striking. Reducing these actions will reduce your risk of developing an injury. While engaging in any form of activity, it is recommended you wear proper clothing and footwear to reduce risk of injury even further.

As you lose weight, develop strength and become more comfortable moving, you can gradually increase your level of activity. Before increasing the intensity level of your workout, speak with your weight loss doctor to ensure that your risk of injury is minimal.

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