Finding ways to work out at a moderately high intensity can be hard in lots of situations. You may experience regular joint pain which excludes you from lots of workouts like running or jump-heavy HIIT. You may be overweight and unwilling to do lots of high-impact movements. Alternatively, you could be very conscious about the noise your workouts make, whether you have little ones in the next room or neighbors below.
Although many of the best exercises for weight loss require high-impact movements, such as burpees or squat jumps, there are plenty of ways to exercise that don't put pressure on your joints or make any noise. This particular workout from Austria-based YouTube trainer Anna Engelschall, better known as Growingannanas online, is ideal as it's low-impact, making very little noise on the floor and very little stress on your joints.
It uses lots of equipment-free movements such as bicycle crunches, air squats, and lunges. It never repeats a movement, so you can be sure of variety. Taking 30 minutes to complete, the workout is set to work your whole body – legs, core, arms, shoulders, you name it – but it pays particular attention to the legs and core as a large chunk of the workout can be done standing up.
Check out the workout below. All you need is a mat to exercise on and further muffle any noise (you can peruse our list of the best yoga mats here).
Watch Anna Engelschall's workout below
You don't have to go for runs or do lots of burpees to get fit, and just because a workout isn't high-impact, doesn't mean you can't get sweaty and it won't enormously benefit you. Exercising using low-impact methods is great for older adults, for example, who may not want to do lots of joint-jolting movements.
Maintaining a consistent workout schedule, even if the exercises you are doing are low-impact, can be enormously beneficial. Research published in the journal Gerontology finds "10 weeks of low-impact, moderate-intensity exercise training of the type that can be considered well-rounded in nature provides a sufficient stimulus to augment aerobic fitness, beneficially affects leg strength, and increases feelings of vigor in older adults."
Apart from workouts such as the one above, other low-impact exercises include isometric movements, holding positions like planks and wall sits which contract your muscles for a certain length of time. These moves strengthen muscle groups such as your core and legs without moving your joints, so they're great for exercisers with limited range of motion.
Of course, one of the best low-impact exercises which you can do every day is simply walking. It's very low-intensity, and it could be as intense as an uphill hike or as gentle as a lunch break stroll. It gets you out of your chair, improving heart health and encouraging circulation to your muscles. You just need a pair of our best shoes for walking to get started.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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