Workout On A Budget: Low Impact Cardio

As a college student, I know the pain of being stereotypically poor and having one too many nights of cider and pizza. I’m not a member of a gym and I own nothing more expensive than a pair of dumbbells and a yoga mat, but I believe that anyone can workout, get fit and enjoy themselves without breaking the bank.

There are lots of reasons you might be looking for a low impact workout. Maybe you have joint pain or are pregnant. You might be a beginner. Maybe you’re hardcore when it comes to exercise and are looking for a workout that won’t put stress on your already tired muscles and joints. If any of these things are relevant, then low impact cardio probably has its place.

The simplest form of low impact cardio (and particularly excellent for beginners) is walking! Yeah, I’m all about the run but before I ever ran, I walked. I walked on the treadmill, I walked to town, I walked around the area, walking was pretty much my only form of exercise. Over the years, I have found other forms of exercise I enjoy as well as advancing to running. My mom is still the queen of walking. She does big long walks everyday on her lunch break and adds in swimming, yoga and Zumba when she gets the chance (all great low impact options.) So to start you off walking (if you need the motivation of a solid plan), here are a few good uns floating around the internet.

Hal Higdon is famous for training runners and inventing running schedules for people of all abilities, but he actually provides plans for cross training, triathlons and walking. Here’s one for a 10K. This is one from ExRx is very techie looking but is nice because its one page and has four levels of experience on it.

If, like me, you can only motivate yourself to walk for transport, here’s a few workout videos that won’t put too much pressure on your joints but should still get the heart rate up to where you want it to be.

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