10 Low-Impact Exercises That Still Torch Calories

10 Low-Impact Exercises That Still Torch Calories

Getting in shape doesn’t have to be high-impact or super intense. In fact, there are many low-impact workouts that can help you burn calories and reach your fitness goals. The key is consistency and choosing activities you enjoy. This promotes sustainable, long-term results.

Benefits of Low-Impact Exercise

Low-impact workouts offer many perks, including:

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Increased strength and flexibility
  • Weight loss and fat burning
  • Reduced joint pain and injury risk
  • Enhanced mental clarity and mood

These gentle activities allow you to raise your heart rate and break a sweat without stressing your joints. They are perfect for beginners, seniors, and anyone recovering from injuries.

10 Low-Impact Exercises to Torch Calories

Here are 10 low-impact exercises that will get your heart pumping and help you burn body fat:

1. Walking

Whether outdoors or on a treadmill, walking engages your leg and core muscles. Pick up the pace to burn more calories, or try intervals of fast and leisurely walking.

2. Stationary Cycling

Indoor cycling is easy on joints while increasing your heart rate. Adjust the tension for a more intense workout. Try interval training by varying your speed and resistance.

3. Water Aerobics

The water cushions your body during these low-impact pool exercises. Kickboxing, dancing, and aerobics burn major calories while being gentle on joints.

4. Elliptical Training

The elliptical machine combines walking, running, and stair-climbing for a complete cardio and lower body workout. It’s lower impact than jogging but just as effective for fat burning.

5. Rowing

Rowing machine exercises engage your arms, core, and legs. Lengthen your stroke and control your pace to maximize calorie burn. This is a low-impact activity that torches body fat fast.

6. Yoga

While not as intense as other workouts, yoga builds core strength and flexibility. Flow through faster-paced vinyasa sequences to raise your heart rate. Pair with cardio for amplified fat burning.

7. Pilates

Controlled Pilates movements strengthen the core stabilizing muscles. Over time, regularly practicing Pilates can help slim your waistline and tone your whole body.

8. Tai Chi

This meditative martial art increases balance, strength, and flexibility through slow, flowing sequences. While it may not seem intense, Tai Chi can elevate your heart rate for greater fat burning.

9. Barre

Barre fuses ballet, Pilates, and yoga for an intense bodyweight workout. Isometric small movements tone and shape all major muscle groups. Barre provides the muscle-sculpting benefits of strength training without heavy weights or strain on joints.

10. Swimming

Swimming engages the whole body with zero impact on joints and bones. Do laps at a faster pace to get your heart pumping. The water’s resistance helps tone muscles so you burn more calories.

Sample Low-Impact Workout Routine

Try this balanced low-impact routine 3-5 days per week for enhanced fitness and fat loss:

  • 5 minute warm-up: Walking or easy cycling
  • 20 minutes: Low-impact activity like elliptical machine, swimming laps, a Pilates or Barre video
  • 5 minute cool down: Yoga stretches or leisurely walking

Nutrition Recommendations

To lose fat from your workouts, focus on eating whole, minimally processed foods. Emphasize protein, fruits, vegetables, and high fiber carbs like oats, quinoa, beans, and sweet potatoes. Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. Reduce added sugar, fried foods, and refined grains.


What are the best low-impact exercises to lose belly fat?

Some excellent low-impact options to reduce belly fat include brisk walking, water aerobics, cycling, rowing, and swimming laps. These engage your core while raising your heart rate for maximum fat burn.

How long should you do low-impact exercise to lose weight?

Aim for 150-300 minutes per week of low-impact cardio exercise to effectively lose weight. This equals 30-60 minutes 5 days per week. Also do some strength training 2-3 days per week for a balanced fitness approach.

Can you lose weight by just walking?

Yes, brisk walking is an effective way to burn calories and shed excess body fat over time. Combine walking with a balanced diet, strength training, and other low-impact cardio for amplified weight loss.

What burns more calories, running or swimming?

Running generally burns more calories per hour than swimming at a moderate pace. However, swimming still provides an excellent calorie-burning workout with less impact on your joints. Both help build cardiovascular endurance for weight loss.

What exercise burns the most belly fat?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective exercises for visceral belly fat loss. Try incorporating short bursts of intense cardio like sprints, hill climbs, battle ropes, or rowing intervals into your workouts for maximum fat burning.