Low impact cardio to help mix things up

Every once in a while, you should give your body a break from pounding it can take when exercising. But before you think I’m trying to tell you to give up on achieving your goals, I’d rather you think about adding in a low impact cardio into the mix.

woman riding a spin bike

Low impact exercise is easier on your body and your joints will thank you. It can also be a great way to get in a heart-pumping workout without worrying about injuries.

What are the benefits of low-impact workouts?

Low-impact workouts are easier on your joints. By giving your joints a break, you can actually improve your mobility for the times when you engage in more hardcore cardio.

Many low impact exercises also help with your balance. As you slow down and focus on your movements you can work on improving your stability.

What are some low-impact cardio you can do in the gym?

Elliptical machine

woman using eliptical machine for low impact cardio

The elliptical takes the cake when it comes to putting less stress on your legs.

Try spicing up your routine on the elliptical with a 20-minute interval workout by changing the speed and resistance.

Using a stairmaster or stairmill

Feel winded every time you go up a set of stairs? It’s time to get acquainted with the stairmaster or stepmill. Here’s a glutes workout you can do when using them at the gym.

If there’s no gym nearby, no problem. Any old stairs will work for a killer stairs workout.


Here’s a super-easy way to get in some cardio while pretending you’re soaking up some sun on a boat.

Of course, the fluorescent lights in the gym may eventually snap you back to reality. But at least you’ll be working out your arms, back, legs and core.

TRX and suspension trainers

a woman doing low impact cardio using trx straps

TRX gets its name because it lets you do total-body resistance exercises (hence the T, R, and X for “exercise”) using a strap suspension system.

The workout is easy on your joints but challenging for the rest of your body. Here are a few beginner exercises you can try. They are also good for advance users too.


The Peloton is all the rage right now but that’s not the only indoor cycling you can do.

A spin bike allows you to work your lower body with different resistances and at different speed. When I am not using the Peloton bike at the gym, I like to turn on a TV show and create a steady-state cardio workout to get me through.

Low impact cardio you can do outside

When the weather’s fine, take your low-impact activity outside These outdoor workouts let you soak up some sun while you work up a sweat.


a woman walking for fitness down a path

Walking is a stress-free way to get moving.

If it seems too easy, there are plenty of ways to add intensity. Add hills or some resistance to really get your heart rate up. You also can add dumbbells or ankle weights.


We’ve loved biking ever since we finally took off our training wheels. It just so happens to be a great way to get some exercise without putting too much strain on your joints.

Swimming and water aerobics

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise with a boatload of benefits, from lowering blood pressure to regulating blood sugar.

If swimming laps gets repetitive, try a water aerobics class.


Gliding on pavement puts less stress on your joints while still burning calories. Just make sure you remember how to stop.

Before you head outdoors, don’t forget your helmet and pads.

What’s your favorite way to do low impact cardio?

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