Cardio workouts for weight lossCardiovascular exercise can be divided into high-impact and low-impact exercises, which refer to the degree of impact an exercise has on your joints and skeletal system.

  1. High-impact exercise involves the body lifting into the air and both feet leaving the ground simultaneously; examples include running, jumping, leaping, jumping jacks and jumping rope.
  2. Low-impact exercise, on the other hand, entails one foot remaining on the ground, supporting the weight of the body at all times. Examples include walking and hiking.
  3. If both feet remain planted on the ground or your entire body weight is supported at all times, then it is a no-impact exercise. No-impact activities include swimming, cycling, rowing and exercise machinery such as the elliptical trainer.

When moving your body has to absorb the force of the impact with the ground. The higher the impact with the ground, the greater the force/ shock your body (particularly your ankles, knees, hips and lower back) must withstand. Significantly less stress, or jarring, is exerted on your body and joints when you land during low-impact exercise and there less risk of injury compared to high-impact exercise. This means that when you do high-impact exercise you need to pace yourself and advance more conservatively in order to avoid injury compared to low- or no-impact exercise programs.

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