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Getting into Low-Impact Workouts

It’s no secret that as we age, our joints start to wear down and cause pain when we use them. That can make working out feel uncomfortable, difficult and not worth doing at all. A lot of workouts are high impact (like running) and can hit your joints with about 2.5x your bodyweight, making things worse.

You may have heard about low-impact exercises. Simply put, they’re exercises where one foot is always on the ground. These workouts are easier on your joints, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy workout or that it’s only for those with age-related joint pain. People who are injured, have chronic joint conditions like arthritis, or are overweight or pregnant all rely on low-impact workouts to stay active. Low-impact exercise can even actually relieve pain for those with chronic joint-related conditions.

After you consult your doctor about starting a new exercise routine, here are some low-impact workouts you can try at home:

Low-impact jumping jacks
  1. Stand with your arms at your sides.
  2. Step your right foot out to the side and push your right arm up over your head to the left at the same time. Keep your weight on your right foot.
  3. Go back to the starting position.
  4. Step your left foot out and push your left arm up over your head to the right at the same time. Keep your weight on your left foot.
  5. Repeat.

  1. Start out squatting down slightly with your legs bent. Swing your right leg behind your left leg and touch your toe on the ground. Keep your right arm bent upwards for balance. 
  2. Bring your right leg back and return to the squatting position. Repeat with your left leg: swing it behind your right leg and touch the ground. Bend your left arm up for balance.
  3. Repeat.

Squat to jab
  1. Start by standing with your arms pointing up like a boxer and your legs slightly farther apart than shoulder-width.
  2. Squat down. Keep your arms and chest pointing up.
  3. Stand up again. Punch with your right arm to the left, then punch again with your left arm to the right.
  4. Repeat. 

Standing oblique crunch
  1. Start by keeping your hands on top of your head, with your elbows pointing out to the side and your legs shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bring your right knee up and your right elbow down so they touch. Don’t take your hands off your head.
  3. Put your right leg back on the ground and repeat with your left side. 
  4. Repeat.

If you need help getting active with your joint pain, the Online Health Coach can help you make progress with your workout goals. Standard and Basic Option members may be eligible to earn up to $120 on their MyBlue® Wellness Card for completing them.