Can You Lose Weight with Low Impact Exercise?

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You may have heard of the term “low impact exercise” before. If so, you may be wondering if it is a good option for losing weight.

At first, the answer would seem to be no, after all, the name “low impact” doesn’t exactly scream effectiveness.

However, low impact exercises can, in fact, help you lose a lot of weight. In this article, you will see why this is.

What Is Low Impact Exercise?

Low impact exercise is the name applied to any sort of exercise that has a low impact on your body.

This includes things like swimming, walking, yoga, Pilates, elliptical machines, and much more.

It is a very broad category that includes a lot of different exercises, with the only unifying factor being that they also have very little physical impact on your muscles and your body as a whole.

Are Low Impact Exercises Effective?

The name low impact should not be confused with low effectiveness.

Low impact exercises are extremely effective at burning calories, burning fat, and helping you to build muscle.

They just happen to do these things without putting any serious strain on your muscles or bones.

In fact, low impact exercises are often the most effective way to burn calories.

Why Are Low Impact Exercises Effective?

Low impact exercises are effective in large part because they don’t cause any strain on your muscles.

This allows you to continue exercising for longer periods of time.

Think of how many workouts you have cut short because you started feeling intense pain or soreness.

If you are like most people, then the chances are good that quite a few of your workouts had to be ended early because you just can’t take the pain or soreness anymore.

This can be problematic for those of you trying to lose weight because the secret to burning calories is to keep up a fast pace.

You want your heart constantly beating.

So, being able to do low impact exercises, like swimming, for longer periods of time will lead to you burning more calories than if you did more intense exercises, like sprinting, for smaller periods of time.

Not All Low Impact Exercises Are Equal

When it comes to losing weight, not all low impact exercises are equal. Some are better than others.

For example, yoga and Pilates aren’t great options for burning calories (although they do have other advantages). On the other hand, swimming is a great option for burning calories.

Low Impact Workouts for Beginners

If you’re just getting started with a workout routine, don’t get discouraged.

There are so many routines out there that you can try, but many are best reserved for the advanced who have worked up the strength and endurance to be able to complete them.

There’s no shame in starting with a “beginner” level workout–in fact, that’s the very best thing you can decide to do!

After all, you’ll be setting yourself up for success by choosing a routine that matches your ability levels.

With this in mind, you might have a bit of an issue navigating through all of the different types of workouts as you just dive into the fitness world.

Low intensity, high intensity, low impact, high impact–what should you be doing to get the best results?

The fact is, you could choose any combination and get results if you take the right approach.

However, low impact workouts remain the best choice for people of all ages and skill levels.

This is because low impact workouts will help preserve your joints while also decreasing the risk of injury and strain.

Plus, low impact activities don’t equate to low intensity. Your low impact workout can be any range of intensity so long as you design it correctly.

That means it’s super flexible, allowing you to start with a low intensity routine and work your way up to moderate intensity and then high intensity down the road.

In other words, low impact workouts are really one of the absolute best ways to get your sweat on! If you’re a beginner looking to kick things off, look for a routine that accommodates your abilities, equipment, and skill level.

If you do not have any equipment, opt for a body weight workout that will use the resistance of your own limbs in order to help you tone up and burn calories.

If you are very new to exercise, opt for a low intensity beginner workout, which might center around walking or stepping in place.

Finally, when looking at a workout routine, be sure that you aren’t setting yourself up for failure.

The routine should be easy to do for the first few days so that you can get into the swing of things.

With time, you can begin making it harder for yourself by extending its length or intensity further.

4 Low Impact Exercises You Can Do At Home

Tired of the same old, same old? Can’t make it to the gym? Weather not good outside?

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to workout from home, and there are plenty of ways to do it.

Here are five great low-impact exercises that you can do anywhere, with no equipment required.


Marching in place is like the perfect hybrid of walking and running.

It’s low impact, like walking, but can be moderate or high intensity, just like a jog or run.

Plus, you can do it from home without anything required other than willpower.

As a quiet, low impact activity, you can march in place as you watch TV or you can take it mobile as you move around the house.

The trick is to get your knees high and go at a pace that’s sustainable but still challenging for yourself.

Tai Chi

Tai chi or yoga are popular low-impact workouts because they engage your entire body and accomplish multiple things at once.

In addition to being very flowing and helping you relieve any stress you may be feeling, yoga and tai chi alike both have you focus on your breathing and your balance.

Plus, you will find yourself toning your muscles as you stretch out your body.

You can even get your heart rate up with certain yoga routines.


Whether or not you have a partner, dancing is one of the best things you can do to get moving without putting too much strain on your body. It’s very fun and allows you to learn a new skill with nothing other than a video to teach you.

There are plenty of free courses online and videos on YouTube that will teach you basic steps and routines.

So, push the sofa back and make room for your very own dance floor.

Before you know it, you could spend hours working on your moves.

Routine Workouts

There are plenty of low impact workout routines dedicated to helping you tone up and slim down.

Think squats, lunges, crunches, and other classic moves that can be done standing still or lying on the floor.

There is no shortage of low impact moves out there–you just have to find the ones that work for you!

4 Low Impact Exercises You Can Do At the Gym

Got a gym membership and no clue what to do with it?

Don’t let joint pain or lack of a routine discourage you. Here are four low impact workout ideas that you can take with you.


Find the rowing machine at your gym and hop on it. You’ll be surprised how this seemingly simple motion works your entire body.

Plus, once you find your rhythm, you’ll notice that it ends up being quite high intensity.

Before you know it, you’ll be imagining yourself cruising through riverbanks and, in no time at all, your workout will be finished as the sweat trickles down your face.


The elliptical is definitely superior to the treadmill, and the fitness industry is finally starting to acknowledge it.

With a wider range of motion that works more muscles, the elliptical machines should become your new best friend if you’re seeking out low impact activities to do at the gym.

If there is more than one type of elliptical, try to switch up which one you use.

Doing so will help you work more muscles and avoid an overuse injury. Stretching out before and after will also be very beneficial.


If your gym has a kickboxing class, definitely join it and see what it’s like!

This cardio workout will have you keep one foot on the ground at all times, but you’ll definitely feel your heart race as you learn the moves against a boxing bag.

Make sure to join a beginner’s class and, if you’re nervous, consider watching one before jumping in for yourself.

This is one of those workouts that hardly feels like work at all once you get the hang of it.


TRX is a type of suspension training and it’s very likely that your gym has the equipment.

Look around for handles hanging from the ceiling or mounted to the wall somewhere.

These are what you’ll use to get into a TRX routine.

This low impact workout helps you use your body weight as a resistance tool for toning up and getting your heart pumping.

If you don’t know how, just lookup a video or ask a trainer for some guidance and you’ll surely be hooked on it.

3 Low Impact Exercise Ideas for the Obese

Starting your weight loss journey can prove extremely daunting, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose.

However, being obese shouldn’t stop you from exercising.

Of course, you can’t expect to start running or doing strenuous activities out of the blue.

For your health and morale, you need to start small with realistic and beneficial exercises that you can stick to and build on in the weeks to come.

Low-impact exercises like walking are a fantastic way to get yourself moving while minimizing stress on your joints and helping you stay active for longer while avoiding getting winded or out of breath.

Here are 3 low impact exercises worth trying if you are overweight and struggling to get active.


You can bicycle any distance, any place, on any terrain, which makes cycling a fantastic hobby to pick up.

Not only is it easy on your joints and very adjustable to your speed and abilities, bicycling is also fun as you get to enjoy beautiful scenery or just a stroll through the neighborhood.

Plus, it’s super flexible with the only thing potentially standing in your way being bad weather.

Of course, a stationary bike indoors allows you to avoid that issue altogether!


Yoga is the perfect way to get yourself up and moving while working on crucial things like balance, posture, and overall strength.

Yoga not only helps you burn fat through repetitive poses but it also helps you tone your muscles with various poses.

This makes it the great all-around workout, but it’s very suitable to people of all skill levels thanks to its versatility and low intensity level.

Water Aerobics

Jumping into the pool is a great way to jump into a healthier lifestyle.

Being in the water automatically brings impact levels down near to non-existent levels, and it’s a very refreshing and fun way to burn calories.

You can join a water aerobics class or, better yet, start moving on your own time with a water walking session a few times a week.

You can also move into swimming laps later on as you build stamina and muscle.

All in all, the secret to successful weight loss no matter your starting point is making a plan and sticking to it.

Set yourself up for success by planning the right exercises for your fitness level.

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