Low impact cardio exercises offer the benefit of boosting heart health without undue stress on the joints. More importantly, low impact exercise can be adapted for any fitness level. That means they can be perfect for beginners, for seniors and even those recovering from an injury or illness. Add these four to your regular fitness repertoire for variety that keeps your interest and motivation high.

Walking is the most accessible exercise. You can do it anytime, anywhere, and no special equipment is required.

Benefits of walking:
• Helps you maintain healthy weight – you don’t need to be an elite athlete to lose or manage weight. Start a regular walking program; add time and distance as you build stamina. In time, you (and your doctor) will notice changes to your overall health and well-being.
• Reduces incidence of chronic illness – walking can improve blood pressure, heart health and even improve symptoms or reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.
• Boosts mood – walking helps you reduce stress and anxiety and improve feelings of well-being.
• Strengthens your bones and muscles.

Cycling is a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors. If it has been a while since you’ve been on a bike, it’s time to hop back in the saddle. Here’s why:

Benefits of cycling:
• Burn body fat – peddle away extra pounds.
• Improve joint health – you get a low impact, high cardio workout so it’s gentle on your joints but still gets your heart rate up.
• Boost muscle and heart health – not only does your heart get a workout, but your muscles are sufficiently challenged that you improve both strength and flexibility.
• Better mood – the combination of physical activity and fresh air is just right to encourage the flow of endorphins, boost mood and beat stress.

Get off the beaten path and take a hike. Hiking is a treat for your senses as well as your health. Looking for another reason to don your boots and hit the trail. How about this:
• Reduce your risk of chronic illness – like other forms of exercise, hiking reduces your risk of chronic health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and elevated cholesterol levels.
• Build muscular fitness and endurance – commit to a regular program to improve overall health and fitness.
• Fun way to maintain healthy weight – hiking, like walking and other forms of cardio, burns calories and fat so you can lose or maintain weight.
• You’ll feel better – hiking helps ease insomnia and symptoms of depression.

Low impact cardio exercises are an effective way of managing overall health and weight. What’s more, they’re fun to do. Add these to your routine and enjoy all the benefits they offer for the body, mind and spirit.