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Cardio exercise isn’t just about working out at the gym. If you’re looking for a way to pump your heart up without extra effort, no-impact cardio may be the exercise for you! This type of cardio doesn’t require any equipment. It can be done anywhere – at home, in your office, or even on the go. Ready to try no-impact cardio for yourself? You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

What Is No-Impact Cardio Exercise?

Simply said, no-impact cardio exercise doesn’t involve any impact at all. In this context, “no impact” refers to any activity that does not include sudden, forceful motion at the joints.

Compared to low and high-intensity cardio exercises, no-impact cardio is preferable. It places less strain on your body’s connective tissues, including your muscles, bones, and tendons. Common “cardio” activities, such as jogging, can be strenuous on the bones beyond the normal stress of exercise.

A low-impact activity involves weight-bearing. While jogging is high-impact, strolling in deep water while wearing a float belt is no-impact.

What Are Examples Of No-Impact Cardio Exercise?

Aquatic Exercise

Image shows a group  of people having fun swimming at the sea.

The term “aquatic exercise” refers to a wide variety of water-based activities. It is possible to execute various no-impact activities in a swimming pool. Some forms of exercise, like water walking, reduce stress on the body’s joints by eliminating gravity’s pull. Nevertheless, provide cardiovascular conditioning and muscle toning benefits.


Man doing rowing exercise on a machine which is a non-impact cardio exercise.

Both cycling and rowing are excellent choices if you’re looking for a more challenging no-impact cardio exercise. You can go on a ride on a regular bicycle or a stationary bike. Those with joint problems may find it more comfortable to use a stationary recumbent bike.

Rowing on a machine or boat is a great way to get in shape. It’s a no-impact cardio exercise yet challenging, and it works a wide variety of muscle groups.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross country skiing dubbed as the best cardiovascular workout known.

You’ll get a good workout on Cross Country Ski, similar to real cross-country skiing. It features a high-impact element thanks to the constant switching of your feet. It is generally agreed upon that this is “the best cardiovascular workout known.”

There’s no overuse of muscles in cross-country skiing, so it’s a great cardio workout. You can keep doing it for hours. It keeps your heart rate up while you exercise and improves your heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently.


Woman doing yoga pose.

Stretching is a big part of yoga; these stretches can also help strengthen and tone your muscles. The practice of yoga has several positive effects on health. Including those related to strength and stability, cardiovascular fitness, and mental well-being.

Non-Impact Pilates

No impact pilates is a form of exercise that emphasizes proper posture and uses yoga-like movements to develop and tone muscles.

Pros And Cons Of No-Impact Cardio Exercises


There are several health benefits to no-impact cardio that aren’t present in low-impact or high-impact exercises. Many people who can’t exercise with even low or moderate impact can benefit from this kind of activity because of how easy it is on the body. This exercise style protects the body and provides all the same health benefits as more intense forms of exercise.

  • Enhanced physical fitness and stamina
  • Boost in muscular strength
  • Enhanced muscular tone and metabolic rate
  • Increased power and energy


  • Limited Access. Swimming is enjoyable, but going more than a few laps at a public pool is hard unless you have your own. Elliptical trainers and stationary bicycles fall into the same category. Although you can buy your own, not everyone has the necessary space for such large machinery.
  • Seasonality. Outdoor activities like cycling or cross-country skiing are excellent but have short seasons. Getting outside and exercising regularly can be challenging when the weather is bad.
  • Physiology. You’ll find that practically all non-impact cardiovascular exercises emphasize linear motion. Linear motion is the forward-backward plane of motion. Suppose you’re doing non-impact cardio to recover after an injury. There’s not a lot of lateral movement in that case. Strengthening muscles and tendons as they heal is crucial for preventing unbalanced movement patterns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Do Cardio When Injured?

When rehabilitating from an athletic injury, you should do no-impact cardio. It will help you stay in shape when ready to return to the sport. It will also give your body the time it needs to heal and lessen the likelihood of another injury.

What Is The Best Exercise For Chronic Pain?

Many people have chronic pain from injuries, overuse, genetics, or aging, making regular cardio dangerous and uncomfortable. People with chronic pain, like back and knee pain, can benefit from no-impact cardio.

How Do You Do Cardio If You Are Overweight?

Individuals who are severely obese have a greater risk of injury from high-impact cardiovascular exercise. Overweight people put extra strain on their bones, joints, and tendons. They should stick to no-impact cardio until they reach a healthy weight for their size and build.

What Are The Exercises That Can Be Done By A Person With Disability?

Some people are born with bodies that can’t move around as quickly as others. However, cardio exercise has the same positive effects on these bodies as on those with normal mobility. Persons with a wide variety of impairments can participate safely in cardio exercise, which is essential for keeping healthy and happy.

A Note From Gulf Physio

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the subject matter above. This blog post is not a substitute for medical advice. The author cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information presented. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult a healthcare professional. All decisions and actions you make are your own. No one involved in making this resource is liable for its use.

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