Gentle exercises and workouts offer a fantastic way of staying fit, losing weight and reaching your health goals.
They are particularly useful for those with stiff joints, existing injuries or who simply want a gentle exercise routine to follow along to. Beginner friendly gentle workouts are often perfect for anyone looking to kickstart their fitness. It helps avoid injury and ease into everything.
The NHS even highlights that gentle exercise can be just as effective as moderate and high intensity forms of exercise at lowering the risk of heart disease.
So, what are some of the best forms of gentle exercises?
We’ve outlined just a handful of some activities and workouts you can get started with that are gentle on joints, but pack a punch in terms of health benefits.
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Yoga is a great activity to adopt at any stage in your life. It is gentle but challenging which will keep you focused on improving and mastering some of the poses.
Yoga is proven to benefit not just your physical health but your overall wellbeing and mental health too.
There is also a fantastic community around yoga – both in most local areas and online. You can share your journey with others and learn from them. There are also lots of variations and sub disciplines of yoga you can try.
Pilates is another great option for those looking for gentle workouts that are friendly on joints.
Pilates shares similarities with yoga but is generally seen to be more focused on the anatomical movements and less on the spirituality element that yoga includes.
Pilates is very focused on what it is you are trying to achieve – better posture, balance, flexibility and strength. These are all vital for healthy ageing and the reason why Pilates is perfectly positioned to support fitness over 50.
Pilates doesn’t include high impact movements. Instead, it is focused on simple, controlled movements.
Tai chi is focused on slow, flowing movements. It is an ancient Chinese craft that connects both mind and body to perform these movements.
Tai chi may be gentle, but it still gets you moving and undoubtedly improves core skills such as coordination, balance, and core strength.
Nordic walking is one of our favourite activities for healthy ageing here at fitness drum. It is beginner friendly and has a thriving community making it perfect for those looking for a social element to their fitness.
Nordic walking involves using poles which helps engage the upper body. This turns the simple activity of walking into a great fully body workout, that is gentle and beginner friendly.
For increased difficulty, you can simply walk faster and for longer.
Check out our guide on Nordic Walking for beginners for help getting started.
Swimming is probably the top cardio-vascular exercise that is gentle on joints. The water takes a lot of the weight, making it a popular choice for those with bad knees, hips or other ailments.
It’s great for overall health and fitness and can help tone your body.
For the adventurous type, check out the joys of wild swimming and the added health benefits of swimming in open water.
Aqua aerobics takes the benefits of exercising in water and combines it with more traditional gym class workouts (as opposed to swimming). This can keep it fun and interesting, whilst also honing in more specific skills.
It is usually done in water that is waist deep. This helps protect hips, knees and ankles from high impact exercises. Jumping in water for example will still deliver a lot of health benefits, but doesn’t come with the potential injuries that it could when performed on land.
Low Intensity Interval Training
Low intensity interval training, LIIT, is a variation of the more popular HIIT workouts. LIIT follow a similar circuit style routine, but the exercises are performed at a low intensity. This means there won’t be any jumping. Instead, the moves are gentle and slower, but designed to still deliver an effective workout (often in a short period of time).
Learn more about low intensity interval training in our recent blog post.
Balance is a vital component of healthy ageing. And just like any skill, you can practice it to become better at it.
This can help avoid nasty falls as well as helping to improve the performance of other exercises and workouts.
Balance exercises are usually gentle and low impact by nature. The focus is on holding unstable positions to engage muscles to keep your body stable and balanced.
Standing on one leg or holding something outwards are gentle and easy to perform, but can help improve such an important aspect of our fitness.
Bodyweight exercises can be tailored to any fitness level. From beginner friendly movements to more advanced exercises, you can use your bodyweight as resistance to improve strength, conditioning, balance and flexibility.
Certain bodyweight movements, such as crunches, can be very gentle and easy to get started with.
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