Low Impact Does Not Mean Low Intensity

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With the popularity of HITT (High Intensity Interval Training) which includes many high impact activities like Burpees, Jump Squats. Skipping, Running and various other explosive movements, it may seem like High Impact movements are the only path to results. That’s just not the case and good news for those with arthritic pain and various other injuries, aches and pains. The reality is that some people’s bodies just don’t do well with a lot of impact and they will respond better by choosing their fitness activities wisely.

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You can give yourself an incredible workout while exposing your body to minimal impact.

Here’s a list of activities that you should consider if you experience a lot of joint pain and your aches flare up after a high-impact activity.


No need to run your way to fitness, walking will do the trick. It will typically take you double the time to experience the same benefits of running but no need to expose your body to the jarring effects of running. If it typically takes you 30 minutes to run a 5K, it will probably take you about an hour to walk the same distance but without the impact. If you want to increase the intensity, incorporate some hills or head to the mountains for some hiking which will drive the intensity up. The good news is all you need is a good pair of shoes and you can do this anywhere!


Riding a bike is often the initial exercise recommended by doctors after knee surgery since it’s a low impact activity and can help strengthen the lower body while keeping blood flowing. Start indoors before venturing outdoors and gradually progress your resistance, speed and the time you spend out of the saddle. Once your body is able to tolerate the movement well, then start increasing your speed and intensity.


Rowing is a full-body exercise with minimal impact on the body. You will strengthen your legs, back, arms and core. Since rowing can be technical and you don’t want to do it wrong and risk injury to your back, seek the advice of a trainer who can assure your technique is solid. Once you get your technique down, you can really work hard on a rowing machine. Just ask any rower!

Swimming/Water Fitness

The buoyancy factor of water makes swimming and water fitness an activity that feels great for those who suffer from joint pain. Head to your local pool and take a water class or swim some laps for a full-body, low-impact activity.

Strength Training

There are hundreds of strength exercises you can do without exposing your body to a lot of impact. Conditioning your muscles will also increase your body’s ability to tolerate more impact and help to build your bone density. Try the elliptical, climb some stairs, take a ballroom dance class, go rock-climbing…there are hundreds of activities you can still do if high-impact is not your thing. Bottom line – move your body no matter what.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Couve Run 2017

Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




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