It’s the question that personal trainers hear quite often: “How can I lose weight if I hate cardio?” Fortunately, there is an array of low impact exercises they can recommend that are just as effective for weight loss as their oxygen-gulping, heart-pounding cardio counterparts.
For every ten of Great Britian’s citizens, four of them are trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, many of them still believe that the only way to lose weight is by running their guts out on a treadmill. Today, that mindset is rapidly changing thanks to personal trainers who operate on the cutting edge of modern fitness. According to them, running 5 miles a day isn’t a requirement for weight loss success. In fact, running isn’t necessary at all!
If we can muster up the gumption to do just three 10-minute sessions of low-intensity exercise each week, we can lose weight, and keep it off. Of course, getting enough protein in our diets and adopting other healthy lifestyle habits can augment your success, but let’s focus on the low impact exercises that personal trainers are so excited about.
First of all, there’s a reason that trends like Cozy Cardio, a newer weight loss strategy that takes a gentler approach to exercise, are catching on. We spoke with one personal trainer who operates out of the Canary Wharf area on the eastern side of London about this evolving Cozy Cardio craze. We wanted a professional opinion about the effectiveness of doing low impact exercises while still staying relatively comfortable and what our expectations should be for weight loss results. She said “The UK has higher levels of obesity than many major European countries, and a lot of these people quickly get discouraged with running or bicycling because those routines just don’t fit their lifestyle. That’s why we’re on a mission to educate our society on the effectiveness of low-impact exercise for weight loss. These low-impact exercises work, yet many people still aren’t convinced.”
But facts are facts. And it’s a fact that these low impact exercises are gaining popularity because they offer the same benefits as high impact exercises, just without so much strain on our joints and without having to gasp for oxygen. If you’re ready to lose weight without suffering hours of anxiety because you’re dreading your upcoming workout, we’ll show you the best low impact exercises that personal trainers recommend for burning fat below:
Yoga. It’s not just for mindfulness and flexibility. We found over 20 studies showing just how effective a consistent yoga routine can be for people who want to lose weight. Yoga may not be the first thing that comes to mind when looking for weight loss solutions, but personal trainers say it’s worth considering, especially because of the muscle-toning advantages of yoga. Not only that, but yoga can also enhance mindfulness, which can help us to avoid overeating.
If you’re new to the yoga scene, you can start by doing cycles of the “Downward Dog” - a starter’s pose that you can try.
Simply get on the floor positioning your hands and knees in what is called the “tabletop” position. Begin to extend your legs and point your hips directly toward the ceiling, and keep your palms pressed down with both heels as close to the floor as possible. Try to hold the pose for 20- to 30-seconds and then repeat the entire sequence 3 times.
Who knew that a giant rubber band could be so resourceful for our health and fitness? It’s true! Constructed of elastic rubber, these so-called “fitness bands” have become wildly popular with personal trainers as a muscle-toning strategy.
“The huge advantage of fitness bands is their accessibility. They can be stored and transported easily, so you can do your workout nearly anywhere!” said one personal trainer working out of a popular fitness spa in downtown London.
The workout routines that can be done using resistance bands are nearly limitless, and any of them can be low impact. Remember, the key to building fat-burning muscle tissue is tension – something that these resistance bands apply.
Start with a 10-minute resistance band routine and aim for three or four times per week.
If you want a low impact, fat incinerating workout that tones every muscle of your body simultaneously, then swimming might be worth checking out. Like any exercise that utilizes resistance for muscle growth, swimming tones the muscles in your bodies via the resistance of water. In fact, one personal trainer we spoke with told us that he tries to include swimming in just about every workout for his clients. He said that swimming can actually be a better workout than many of the traditional exercises one might try for weight loss so, if you belong to a gym that has a pool…take advantage of it!
“I don’t have enough time to exercise!” It’s probably the most common excuse for not getting the fitness results we want. Frankly, if you have time to toggle through social media apps on your phone, you’ve got time to do 10 or 15 minutes of low impact bodyweight exercises to lose weight. That’s chiefly because bodyweight exercises can be done just about anywhere, including the comfort of your home…or in the local park.
Here are the top bodyweight exercises for creating lean, fat-burning muscle tissue in our bodies.
Push-ups: Probably the most well-known bodyweight exercise for your chest, shoulder, and triceps. Push-ups are still a terrific low impact exercise that you can do practically anywhere. Begin by doing 3 to 4 sets of 8 pushups. As you get gradually stronger, you can increase repetitions to 15. Do this 3- or 4-times a week.
Wall squats: A wall squat is a great bodyweight exercise to strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings, even your core. Just find a wall, keep your back flat against it and position both your feet a step away so your legs are at a 45-degree angle. Begin by holding that pose for 20- to 30-seconds. Repeat 3 to 4 times and go through this routine at least twice a week.
Ab Crunches: Another awesome bodyweight exercise that personal trainers insist upon because of their core strengthening advantages. But abdominal crunches do more than burn calories and help tone your core, they can also serve to improve your posture and help prevent lower back pain. Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions and increase the number of reps over time.
And Don’t Forget the Protein
Weight loss success is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Surprise! And there’s nothing that will sabotage your weight loss efforts faster than a poor diet that lacks good sources of protein. There’s plenty of information online for finding the best sources, eggs and peanut butter rank very highly among them. If fact, some of the personal trainers we talked to said they recommend supplementing our diets with soy- or whey-based protein powders just to be thorough.
Because of its crucial role in building lean muscle mass and giving us that feeling of satiety that controls our appetite, protein is especially important in any weight loss effort, whether you choose a high impact or low impact fitness routine.