When it comes to staying fit and active, most of us envision intense workouts with high-impact activities like running and jumping. However, there is another path to fitness that offers remarkable benefits without putting undue stress on our joints and muscles.
Low-impact exercise is gaining the well-deserved attention for its gentle yet effective approach to physical health and well-being.
This article will explore the numerous advantages of incorporating low-impact exercise into your fitness routine and share the best low-impact equipment to add to your home gym.
What is Low-Impact Exercise?
Low-Impact exercise refers to movements that minimize the stress placed on your joints, especially the knees, hips, and spine. Unlike high-impact exercises like running and jumping, low-impact exercises always have at least one foot on the ground (or equipment). Exercises that have both feet on the ground (or equipment) will tend to have the lowest impact.
The Benefits of Low-Impact Exercise
As shared in the definition, low-impact exercise is kinder to your joints. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals with joint conditions such as arthritis, or those who are recovering from injury(1). Low impact exercises can help to maintain joint health, reduce pain, and even improve joint mobility over time.
Reduces Risk for Injury
High-impact exercises have a higher risk of injury compared to low-impact exercises, especially jumping exercises where both feet leave the ground. Low-impact exercises are a safer choice for people of all fitness levels.
Easier to Stay Consistent
Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining fitness goals. Low-impact exercises are often more sustainable over the long term because they are less likely to lead to excessive fatigue or cause injury(2).
Improve Overall Health
Contrary to what you may think, low-impact exercises can still help you to build muscle, improve cardiovascular health, assist in weight loss, reduce stress, and enhance the quality of your sleep. Low-impact exercise has been shown to improve energy levels for those fighting auto-immune diseases and increase cognitive function in older adults(2,3). That’s right, all the benefits of exercise without the need for increasing impact. Just remember low impact doesn’t mean low intensity – hard work is still required!
Low-impact exercises are suitable for a wide range of individuals, regardless of age or fitness level. They provide an inclusive fitness option that can be enjoyed by beginners and seasoned athletes alike.
Low Impact Equipment Buyer Guide
Now that we know all the amazing benefits of low-impact exercise, it is time to explore the best pieces of low-impact equipment that Sunny Health and Fitness has to offer!
Resistance Tube Set No.089
These workout fitness bands are a great low-impact option for strength training and those looking to rehabilitate from injury. This set includes 5 bands with varying tensions: Blue 10lbs., Green 20lbs., Yellow 30lbs., Red 40lbs., and White 50lbs. The variety of weight options without the bulk of typical dumbbells or kettlebells makes this a convenient on-the-go or travel workout option. Resistance tubes encourage you to engage more of your stabilizing muscles, and with all the different attachment options you can work your upper body, lower body, and core all in one bag!
Elite Adjustable Dumbbell [DB01-55]
Most strength training is low impact. Engaging in strength training can help to increase muscle mass and reduce your risk of injury all while being kinder to your joints! Dumbbells are one of my favorite pieces of equipment because of the variety of exercises they offer, and I love that you get five different weight options (15, 25, 35, 45, 55 lbs.) with this set. This weight range will help you gradually increase strength and provide you with options for both larger and smaller muscle groups. The best part – no need to wait your turn to use the weights at the gym when you have this dumbbell at home!
I would suggest getting a pair so you can perform exercises with a weight in each hand, but you can still get a lot of work done with one weight. You will find plenty of workouts on our YouTube channel and the SunnyFit® App.
3D Vibration Platform [SF-VP822057]
High-impact exercises have been shown to improve bone density and health, especially in those who are at risk of osteoporosis3. However, if you are trying to avoid high-impact exercises and still want to improve your bone density, this 3D Vibration Platform may be the answer you are looking for! This platform features three unique oscillation modes, 16 intensity levels, and 3 different workout programs to help get you started. Even better news – there are detachable resistance bands, adding to the variety of workout options in one piece of equipment.
The benefits of using a vibration platform include increased blood circulation, improved muscle contraction, minimized injury risk, and of course, improved bone density. Sounds like a great reason to shake, rattle, and roll!
Smart Recumbent Elliptical Cross Trainer [SF-RBE4886SMART]
All the recumbent bike and elliptical equipment offered by Sunny Health and Fitness are perfect for a low-impact workout as these items were specifically designed to protect your joints. My personal favorite is the cross trainer because the addition of the arm levers provides the option to work both the upper and lower body together or separately, all in one machine.
Warning – the seat is exceptionally comfortable! Be sure to download the SunnyFit® App and connect your device so you can stay motivated to workout rather than using it as an extra lounge seat.
Power Stepper [SF-S021054]
Full disclosure, the mini stepper is my favorite piece of equipment that Sunny Health and Fitness makes. Climbing stairs from the comfort of your home – count me in! You will be surprised by the power packed into this small piece of equipment. This version offers more stability with a heavier high-quality frame and the adjustable height range provides options for steep climbs or high-intensity quick steps. The hydraulic cylinder provides a smooth stepping motion, perfect for a low-impact workout and a quiet option for those lucky individuals trying to workout in a thinly walled apartment building.
Yes, this one also has resistance bands for the total workout package. Can you tell that I have a type?
This is also the first of Sunny’s mini steppers to have the capability to connect to the SunnyFit® App, making it easier to track your workout and fitness progress!
Smart Hydraulic Rower [SF-RW5639SMART]
Rowing provides a full-body workout, improving cardiovascular health, strength and endurance while being low-impact on your joints. This Smart Hydraulic Rower has 12 levels of resistance, and the handrails can rotate 360 degrees enabling you to realistically mimic the oars of a rowboat, activating a wider range of upper body muscles compared to other row machines. The seat is comfy, and the foot pedals and straps make it easily adaptable to a large range of foot sizes. The machine is lightweight and quiet making it a perfect fit for any home gym. Don’t forget that all of Sunny’s Smart equipment has the capability to connect to the SunnyFit® App!
It’s like Sunny Health and Fitness wanted to bring the lyrics “row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream” to life! Who’s rowing with me?
Other Low-Impact Favorites
One Last Note on Low-Impact
Choosing any of the equipment above would be a great starting point for building a home gym, but also for beginning your fitness journey. Low-impact exercise is less intimidating and kinder to your body, the perfect way to ease into a healthier you!
Let Sunny Health and Fitness be your guide - be sure to follow us on YouTube and download the SunnyFit® App today. You can even start with our low-impact bodyweight workouts while you are waiting for your new equipment to arrive!
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023) Physical Activity for Arthritis. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity/. Accessed 18 September 2023
2. Tse, A. C., Wong, T. W., & Lee, P. H. (2015). Effect of Low-intensity Exercise on Physical and Cognitive Health in Older Adults: a Systematic Review. Sports medicine - open, 1(1), 37. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-015-0034-8. Accessed 18 September 2023
3. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2006, December 6). Low Impact Aerobic Exercise Reduces Fatigue In Auto-immune Conditions Says Multi-study Review. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2023 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061129151435.htm. Accessed 18 September 2023
4. Manaye, S., Cheran, K., Murthy, C., Bornemann, E. A., Kamma, H. K., Alabbas, M., Elashahab, M., Abid, N., & Arcia Franchini, A. P. (2023). The Role of High-intensity and High-impact Exercises in Improving Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review. Cureus, 15(2), e34644. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.34644. Accessed 18 September 2023