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Best Low Impact & Joint Friendly Exercises

By Sarah S – Jenny Craig

Are your knees feeling sore after hitting the pavement in jogging shoes? If you have joint pain, either from a past injury, extra weight, or another issue, you don’t have to dread lacing up your sneakers. You can still exercise! Instead of pounding your joints with high-impact workouts, try low-impact and joint-friendly exercises that get your heart rate up, burn calories, and tone muscle.

Whether it is knee pain, shoulder pain, or even discomfort with your elbow, switching to joint friendly workouts can not only help prevent further injuries from occurring but allows you to continue exercising and staying healthy. From swimming to sweating in a spin class, try these 5 low impact exercises that are both challenging and safe on your body, allowing you to continue on your fitness journey even with a minor injury setback.

#1. Get in the water

Whether it’s the adult swim session at your neighborhood pool or a water aerobic class at your gym, dive into the water! Swimming laps or water aerobics are both excellent exercises for sore joints, since water workouts are non-weight bearing. Working out in the H2O not only conditions your heart and lungs, but it also improves muscle strength and flexibility.


When it comes to swimming, there are endless workouts you can try that vary in difficulty level. Aside from getting your heart pumping, swimming can also improve shoulder strength, abdominal strength and overall body strength when done correctly.1 If you are looking for a low impact cardio workout, try getting in the water and see for yourself.

#2. Strike a pose

Your joints will thank you if you add yoga to your fitness routine. Yoga is a timeless exercise! Yoga burns calories, improves flexibility, and tones muscle through stretching and strengthening poses. It’s also a way to scorch stress through deep breathing exercises and meditation, making it a total mind-body workout that is also easy on your joints and great for all fitness levels. Bonus: new research shows yoga may help your aging brain as well!2

#3. Go to the gym

Instead of pounding the pavement and going home with sore knees, take a trip to a local gym or fitness center. The joint-friendly circuit machines can help you get your heart rate up and burn major calories. The 30 minute routine encompasses strength training, cardio and stretching for a well-rounded workout.

#4. Walk it out

Walk, hike, or snowshoe to get moving! Your dog will thank you, too! It can be any season of the year, because as long as you move your legs, you’ll be burning calories. Try going for a walk after work and enjoy the sound of chirping birds and the smell of fresh cut grass for a stress-free workout that is easy on your joints and that you can do every day. On the weekend, take your whole family on a hike. The varying incline will get your heart rate up. Just be sure to pack enough water to stay hydrated!

#5. Try two wheels

If you haven’t pedaled a bike since you were a kid, now’s the time to hop on two wheels again. Start with just a quick ride around your neighborhood. Make this low-impact exercise fun and take your kids on a park path to a favorite picnic spot. But don’t forget to always wear a helmet! For a more intense exercise, try a spin class at the gym. This indoor cycling class features an instructor and heart-pumping music that takes you on a ride through inclines, speed bursts, and recoveries to get you dripping sweat.


Whether you are experiencing joint pain while running or are suffering from arthritis, don't let your joints stop you from your daily workouts. These low impact workouts are great alternatives if you are looking for an exercise that is easy on your joints.


Combine these joint friendly exercises with weight loss program to meet your weight loss goals at any age! Learn how Jenny Craig can help you meet your goals and create a custom plan for you. 





[1] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/swimming-health-benefits 

[2] https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/06/01/yoga-may-be-good-for-the-brain/?_r=4



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