Low Impact Exercise

Tonight I was at the gym* and spent some time on the elliptical machine. Normally I eschew it for running on the treadmill but I’ve been having a back pain flare-up recently and low-impact seemed like a good idea. I found that I could work much harder on the elliptical without pain than I ever can on the treadmill or running out in the wild, and I started thinking about how many people need to choose low-impact exercise, for a variety of reasons. Then I started categorizing all the low-impact exercises I know and you know what? Most exercise is low-impact!

Low impact doesn’t have to mean low intensity, either. Several of the forms of exercise on my low impact list are some of the highest intensity workouts I know – you can get a serious hardcore workout without high impact exercise! So I’ve categorized them by intensity level.  Some forms of activity can be many different levels, according to how hard you are working it.

Low Intensity

  • Gardening
  • Stretching
  • Slow walking
  • Sex
  • Housecleaning

Medium Intensity

  • Walking
  • Elliptical Machine
  • Biking
  • Strength Training/Weightlifting
  • Aqua Aerobics
  • Yoga

High Intensity

  • Elliptical Machine
  • Biking
  • Strength Training/Weightlifting
  • Aerobics classes
  • Rowing
  • Swimming

Extremely High Intensity

  • Cross-Country Skiing (real or machine)
  • Rowing (in a real boat or on a machine)
  • Climbing stairs (real or machine)

I’m sure this list isn’t all-inclusive. What did I miss? What’s your favorite form of low-impact exercise?

*Despite my personal feelings sometimes it really is the best option for my day- when I need to I can go and get it done.


2 Responses to “Low Impact Exercise”

  1. Bluezy Says:

    It is so cool that YOU posted about elliptical. I just found a curbside freebie just across the street. It works fine. I would never literally buy one, and this one free just outside my door was like and angel telling me I got to step up on some exercising!

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