Introducing low-impact workouts into your routine

One of the biggest upsides of ageing is that nobody expects you to do burpees. Or weighted crawl-outs, or whatever other muscle-aching workouts they’re coming up with at 6am boot camps these days. 

However, the benefits of exercise are ageless, and the best part is, exercise can simply be a low-impact workout that gets you moving (no burpees required). 

What are low-impact workouts: Definition and characteristics

Low-impact exercise is exactly how it sounds. It can be anything that doesn’t put much pressure on your joints (especially compared with high-impact exercise, such as running, or burpees). 

But for it to count as exercise, it still needs to bring up your heart rate. Generally speaking, you’d bring your heart rate up from resting through exercising at a slow and steady pace. 

Benefits of low-impact workouts

Exercise comes with all sorts of benefits, from improving balance and coordination, to increasing muscle strength, creating social connections, and improving sleep quality. For over 65s, it can also help to prevent falls. 

With low-impact workouts in particular, you can tap into the benefits of higher-impact exercise, all without pushing the body too hard and risking pain or injury. 

Examples of low-impact workouts


Walking is an easy and extremely accessible form of low-impact exercise. 

Aim to walk at a pace that allows you to still hold a conversation, but makes you a little bit out of breath. And don’t forget to find extra quick ways to walk more each day, such as choosing a parking spot at the far end of the carpark or walking to the dairy instead of driving.

Cycling and stationary biking

Cycling is a non-weight bearing, low-impact exercise that may put less stress on the joints. You can go as fast or as slow as you feel to suit your fitness levels, and you can stick to flat areas or seek out small hills to push yourself. 

Plus, you can find some beautiful scenery when biking outdoors in summer, and stay out of the rain with a stationary indoor bike through the drizzly, windy months. Win win. 

Swimming and water aerobics

Like cycling, swimming is a non-weight bearing exercise. This makes it great for supporting your joints and building up your cardio fitness without putting pressure on your body.

Similarly, water aerobics can help you burn calories, build endurance, and increase muscle strength. Plus, it’s basically just dancing in water, so you’ll hardly notice that you’re working out.      

Yoga and Pilates 

We’ve already discussed the benefits of yoga and pilates, but these exercises are so great that it’s worth mentioning them again. 

From lower blood pressure to added flexibility, improved muscle strength and less stress, there really isn’t a downside. 

How to start implementing low-impact workouts into your routine

Not sure how to get started? Give these tips a try: 

  • Find a buddy to exercise with you to hold each other to account
  • Download a workout app for exercises made for Kiwi seniors, such as Nymbl Training, that you can do at home  
  • Hire a personal trainer to get you started with routines made for you
  • Sign up to a class to meet new people and commit to a routine
  • Start slow with gentle at-home workouts that you can do without any equipment

Finally, always remember why you exercise – to look after yourself so you can get more out of life and enjoy those retirement years as much as possible with friends and family. And while you’re at it, you can also help look after those loved ones by considering Seniors Term Life Insurance.

This article is an opinion only, provided for general information purposes. It does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals and shouldn’t be considered or relied upon as personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions and prior to undertaking physical activity.