4 Low-Impact Workouts That’ll Help You Hit Your Weekly Cardio Goals

Photo: Getty Images/ Westend61
Struggling to hit your daily steps goal lately? Life happens, and it’s not always possible to walk as much as you want to, especially if your strolls are shorter than they used to be—like couch to kitchen—because you’re working from home. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to meet (or beat) your daily cardio benchmarks—that’d be 150 to 300 minutes of moderate cardio or 75 to 150 minutes of high-intensity cardio, according to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition—via low-impact workout moves.

“If you want to get the benefits, but it’s just not possible for you to get that much walking done with your busy schedule, there are a few alternative ways that you can keep your activity high without going out for a long brisk walk,” says Jackie Dragone, Onyx trainer. Ahead are four of her fav options for doing just that.

Experts In This Article
  • Jackie Dragone, Jackie Dragone is a fitness coach and the founder of TheLab.

1. Strength training

“Do a strength training workout with little rest,” says Dragone. “Make sure that you are picking up weights that are going to challenge your muscles and keep your HR up.” Shoot for a load that feels hard to move (with proper form, of course) by the last two to three reps of each set—but not impossible. “In general you want the last 10 seconds of the set to feel like you are almost at muscle failure,” Dragone says.

Here’s a 15-minute lower-body strength workout to get you started: 

2. Barre

The constant movement in barre helps to keep your heart rate up, while you build muscular endurance from doing high reps of low-impact exercises like squats and leg lifts.

Prepare to feel the burn in this full-body barre workout below: 

3. Indoor cycling

Whether that’s in a studio or your living room, spinning your wheels on an exercise bike is one of the best forms of high-intensity, low-impact cardio that you can do. Not only is it a form of aerobic exercise, but you’ll also build strength and muscular endurance due to the resistance you add as you ride.

Low Impact HIIT

Low-impact HIIT (also known as HILIT) is an awesome alternative for walking, says Dragone. “Find one that has no jumping,” she suggests.

This 15-minute bodyweight workout will do the trick: 

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