Get Your Heart Rate High with Low Impact Cardio

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: For optimum health and fitness, you’ve got to get your heart rate up. In other words, your exercise routine should include a brisk walk, run, bike ride, swim, or other form of “cardio.”

We hear this advice all the time, and for good reason: it is true. Cardiovascular exercise (cardio, for short) is aerobic exercise, meaning you do it “with oxygen.” Aerobic exercise involves continuous larger movements, which cause your breathing and heart rates to speed up. This increases the oxygen in your blood and benefits your whole body–your heart, brain, skin, lungs, and other organs and systems.1 Plus, because it burns calories, cardio helps keep you at a healthy weight. So, it should come as no surprise that the best workout for women includes a balance of strength, flexibility, and cardio moves.2

Problem is, the exercise routines that give us the biggest heart rate boost don’t work for all. The most popular cardio workouts tend to be higher impact, meaning they put pressure on your joints and bones. These workouts can be difficult or impossible for women who have existing injuries, joint pain, or other problems with mobility.

Luckily, there’s a solution: a low impact exercise routine—like the Curves Circuit—that gives your body the same cardiovascular edge.

What is low-impact cardio?

As mentioned, many cardio workouts—running, jogging, jumping rope, etc. are high impact. Plus, these workouts can be intimidating for women who are at the start of their workout plan. Low-impact exercises, on the other hand, are low load, so they avoid putting pressure on your joints as you move. Low impact does not mean low intensity, however; low impact workouts can be just as challenging, and they can get your heart rate just as high as their higher impact counterparts.

Benefits of Low-Impact Cardio Workouts for Women

The overarching benefit of low impact exercise is the ease on joints and bones. Low impact cardio and strength training workouts for women are gentler, and therefore, come with a lower risk of injury than high impact routines. In addition, low impact exercise offers the following perks:

Low-impact cardio boosts brain health. In a review of studies on low-intensity exercise, scientists found these lower-impact workouts improved both physical and mental health. Low-impact exercise also led to fewer injuries and was easier to stick to long-term.3

Low-impact exercise makes you stronger. You may think the best way to build muscle and strength is by lifting the heaviest weights, but really, the focused and concentrated movements you engage in with low-impact strength training are just as effective when it comes to building strength in core areas of your body.4

Low-impact aerobics lower blood pressure. In a study published in Biological Research for Nursing, researchers looked at the effects of low-impact exercise on blood pressure in people with hypertension. They found a 12-week low-intensity aerobic program in the form of brisk walking helped lower blood pressure in people who took part in the conditioning.5

Low-impact workouts reduce stress. Engaging in any type of exercise program helps you feel more energized and reduces emotional stress, and low-impact activities are no exception. In fact, the relaxing, rhythmic nature of low impact cardio can help increase mindfulness and make you feel calmer, both while you are working out and when you’re done.6

Now that you know all the benefits of a low-impact workout—and you recognize that you can get a good cardio boost at the same time—it’s time to get started. You can get a great low-impact cardio workout at Curves, the ladies gym that specializes in helping women improve their health and fitness. If you’d rather exercise in the comfort of your living room, no problem! Curves also offers a virtual low impact workout with the My Curves On Demand program. Whether you choose to exercise in a Curves studio or at home, when you engage in the proven 30-minute low-impact cardio workout for women, you will get healthier and stronger, all while exercising along with like-minded Curves friends. At Curves women’s gym, you’ll get the additional bonus of a Curves Coach, who can help support you and guide you through your low-impact exercise to ensure you’re getting the safest, most effective workout plan.

Your Curves Coach is there to lead you through every gym workout. With your Curves Coach success is within reach. Visit ‘Why Curves’ to find out more about Curves women’s only gyms and our full body workout on the Curves Circuit, or find your local Curves and sign up today! 


  1. Cardio 101: Benefits and tips
  2. The (Many) Benefits of a Cardio Workout
  3. Effect of Low-intensity Exercise on Physical and Cognitive Health in Older Adults: a Systematic Review
  4. This Workout Will Make You Sweat Without Hurting Your Joints
  5. Effects of low-intensity exercise conditioning on blood pressure, heart rate, and autonomic modulation of heart rate in men and women with hypertension
  6. Physical Activity Reduces Stress
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