Low-impact exercise is exercise that causes minimal impact to your joints. Generally speaking, as long as one foot is always on the floor during your workout, you will be doing low-impact exercise. By doing a low-impact exercise routine you can get into shape without causing injury to your joints.
Beginner Low Impact - You can begin walking thirty minutes a day for a no-nonsense low-impact exercise routine. Start out slowly, after five minutes you can speed up. This is an exercise that requires no special equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Malls are even common places to go to get in your walking time. You may also choose to do your walking on a treadmill. If you are headed to the gym, try using a step machine or riding a stationary bike to get an effective low-impact workout. Swimming or water aerobics are the perfect low-impact exercises. Your entire body is supported and cushioned by the water around you. You will burn calories, build muscle mass and strengthen your heart without stressing your joints.
Cardiovascular Low Impact - If you are ready to pick up the pace a little, you can walk in a long stride while moving your hips, arms and shoulders at a pace akin to a slow jog. Adding weights to you ankles and wrists also can increase the intensity of your workout without stressing your joints very much. Similarly, start taking your bike for cross-country rides, making the most of the hills and valleys you encounter. For some variety, try cardio-boxing as a low-impact exercise routine. You can find aerobic classes at the gym, or purchase videos that will teach you the basic moves in kickboxing at your home, without the impact of a punching bag or opponent. These routines do not cause undue stress to your joints as you get a complete workout. If you live in a climate that gives you the opportunity, cross-country skiing is an adventurous low-impact exercise you can take advantage of to get your workout.
Non-traditional - Nordic walking is becoming a popular low-impact exercise routine. This combines cross-country skiing with walking. Skiers use specially designed poles and a technique intended to make the most of your walking motion -- this burns more calories than regular walking while strengthening your upper body and your lower body. Yoga is a low-impact exercise that will help you lower your stress levels as you gain balance, strength and flexibility. There are a variety of yoga routines to choose from at all different levels of expertise. Similar to yoga in its benefits, tai chi will give you a gentle workout as you learn intricate dance-like poses that take your body through a range of movements. Tai chi is a calming exercise that almost anyone can do at any age.