Do your knees hurt every time you run or jump? Struggling with neck or back pain? Are your joints sore all the time? In this case, running and jogging might not be the best choice. These forms of exercise put stress on your joints, causing wear and tear. Despite their proven health benefits, they're not suitable for everyone. According to researchers
, high-impact exercise improves bone density and may help prevent osteoporosis. Plus, it burns massive calories and keeps you fit. The downside is that it puts pressure on your spine, knees, and smaller joints, which may lead to injury. Shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and Achilles tendinitis are common among runners and other endurance athletes. Not to mention herniated discs and lower back pain. The best way to prevent these issues is to opt for low-impact exercise. Strength training, yoga, Pilates, swimming, and cycling are an excellent choice. Ready to give it a try? Check out these five safer alternatives to high impact exercise: Power Walking
Believe it or not, walking is one of the best exercises out there. It engages nearly every muscle, raises your heart rate, and relieves stress. Power walking, in particular, makes weight loss a breeze. This fun yet challenging activity burns over 200 calories in just 30 minutes. Plus, it's easy on your joints and can even reduce back pain. Rowing
Have you ever used a rowing machine? It provides a full body workout without stressing your knees or spine. Rowing gets your heart pumping, ignites your metabolism, and builds total body strength. On top of that, it's a great way to tone your arms and get rid of the flab. This full body exercise strengthens the back, biceps, triceps, quads, and core muscles. It makes you stronger overall and boosts cardiovascular endurance. Rowing for one hour can burn anywhere from 600 to 900 calories, making it perfect for those who want to get leaner. This activity also helps build muscle, shaping your body from head to toe. Swimming
Health experts recommend swimming for a good reason. This low impact exercise improves lung function, builds muscle strength, and burns fat. It's a great way to tone your arms, lift your butt, and strengthen your back muscles without running like crazy or doing strenuous workouts. Compared to most exercises, swimming is safe for people of all ages and fitness levels. Even children and expecting moms can give it a try. You'll literally float through your training session without stressing your muscles and joints. Strength Training
Despite its challenging nature, strength training is a low-impact exercise. With a few exceptions, most exercises put no stress on your back and knees. Plus, they can be easily adapted to meet your individual needs. Let's say you're struggling with lower back pain. In this case, skip the shoulder press and choose exercises that strengthen the back muscles, such as hyperextensions. Do squats with your own bodyweight or a light barbell to take the pressure off your spine. Weight training helps build muscle size and strength while boosting your metabolism. In the long run, it improves heart function and sports performance. It's also one of the few activities that balance your hormone levels and increase resting metabolic rate. Pilates
This list wouldn't be complete with Pilates. It's a gentle form of exercise that improves your flexibility, muscle strength, and balance. Even if it's not as effective for fat loss as rowing or weight training, it has other benefits. With regular practice, Pilates helps develop core strength and improves your posture. Some exercises speed up recovery from injuries. Others help fix muscle imbalances and increase range of motion. Stress relief is guaranteed. What are your favorite low impact exercises? Do you prefer strength training, or gentler activities like swimming and yoga? Share your experience below!