High-Impact vs. Low-Impact Exercise

What's the Difference Between High- and Low-Impact Exercise?

Do you know what’s high-impact and what low-impact exercise? If not, here you can read about the major differences.

High-impact exercise

High-Impact exercise
High-impact exercise is any activity that includes you raising or coming off the floor in a jumping movement,

High-impact exercise is any activity that includes you raising or coming off the floor in a jumping movement, whether with one or both feet.

Such movements, known as plyometric exercises, rely on the tendons in the lower limbs to propel you upward, and include jogging, running, and any skipping, jumping, or bounding moves in an aerobics or dance session.

High-impact exercise is good for building lower-limb strength as well as for pushing you into an intense cardio zone.

And contrary to widespread thought, a certain amount of high-impact work can be good for the bones and help to prevent or delay the onset of diseases such as osteoporosis.

Low-impact exercise

swimming
Low-impact activities include walking, swimming, biking, non-jumping dance and aerobics moves, and resistance, stretching, Pilates, and yoga exercises.

Low-impact activities include walking, swimming, biking, non-jumping dance and aerobics moves, and resistance, stretching, Pilates, and yoga exercises.

These forms of exercise involve little or no impact and therefore raise the heart rate less than high-impact workout.

However, despite not working the heart as hard, they still provide an effective workout, with the added bonus of less risk of injury.

They are particularly useful for older people, prenatal and postpartum women, and anybody who is overweight or new to exercise, as well as for anybody recovering from injury.

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Written by Jenny Nickelson

Jenny Nickelson has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Because of her deep love to water, she started training swimming in early years. Today she swears on variety and does it all: from swimming, running and cycling to fitness, skiing, dancing and mountaineering.

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