Results With Low Impact Exercise

Low impact does not mean low intensity. Some bodies just can’t tolerate high impact movements, so it’s important to understand that there are many ways to achieve health and fitness results and give yourself an incredible workout without exposing your body to high impact forces. 

Low Impact Exercises


There are plenty of activities, such as walking, biking, hiking, rowing, swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, elliptical, stair climbing, water aerobics, and/or ballroom dancing that involve minimal impact. You can increase the intensity of many activities without adding impact by involving hills, adding additional resistance like wearing a weighted vest and/or increasing your speed. These activities will strengthen your cardiovascular system and burn a lot of calories.


There are hundreds of strength exercises with or without equipment that you can perform to condition your muscles while exposing your body to minimal impact. 

Lower body: squats, lunges, step ups, leg press, and hamstring curls.

Upper body: chest press, rows, pull ups, shoulder press, bicep curls and tricep extensions.

Core: planks, bridging and torso rotation.

You could also try rock climbing which is a low impact activity to help build total body strength or participate in a Barre or Pilates class. These activities will build and preserve your bone density and muscle mass and since muscle is energy-burning tissue, will also help to boost your metabolism. 


Stretching or a Yoga class is a wonderful way to increase your flexibility without high impact. If you are excessively tight or have a difficult time getting up and down from the floor, try using a chair for your stretching or yoga movements.

You could also try foam rolling or percussion therapy (massage guns) to help with your mobility with minimal impact on your body. 

The good news is that there is no need to run, jump or perform another burpee, box jump or plyometric workout in your fitness routine if these movements don’t feel good on your body.

If you suffer from arthritic pain and/or other injuries or aches and pain, listen to your body and choose your fitness activities wisely.

There is a multitude of activities you can still do if high-impact is not your thing.

Bottom line – move your body and remember that Motion is Lotion and Exercise is Medicine!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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