Low Impact Exercise Reaps Big Rewards

May 22, 2024

Reading time: 4 Minutes

people exercising in a pool

Throughout our journey in life, we're called to care for both our spiritual and physical health. The Bible says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we need to honor God with our bodies. (1 Cor. 6:19-20). As we aim to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with, exercise can be a very important piece of the puzzle. In fact, getting exercise into our routines can bring benefits such as increased strength, improved mobility, and enhanced cardiovascular health. 
Yet, traditional exercise can present challenges when dealing with physical ailments like knee pain or arthritis. According to the CDC, pain caused by arthritis effects millions of people each year, impacting an estimated 54 million adults in the US overall. 
I understand this battle all too well thanks to sports-related nagging injuries. My body is not as forgiving as it once was. Fortunately, there are many options for low-impact exercises. These movements can reduce the stress on joints, strengthen muscles surrounding the joints, and increase blood flow to the muscles and joints. All together this can help ease physical discomfort. This time with exercise is also a great opportunity to enhance our walk with the Lord. Take a moment to explore some of these low impact exercise options and tips for those looking to get some movement in through a gentler way. 

Low Impact Exercise Optionsolder couple hiking in woods

  1. Walking in Nature

    There is nothing quite like the great outdoors, and (while it may sound simple) walking is one of the best and easiest ways to get activity into your routine. Combining these two can be a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty of God's creation. Soft surfaces like grass or sand can be solid environments to give a try and lessen joint impact. It can be powerful to look around, seeing the Lord's work in every little detail as you walk around. While getting steps out in the fresh air, I also encourage you to invite God into your walk. Through prayer, you can seek His presence all while getting activity in too.

  2. Water

    When it comes to exercise, many people overlook the benefits of activity in the water. The buoyancy of water makes it perfect for low-impact exercise. Swimming laps, doing water aerobics classes, or even utilizing water fitness equipment can be used to strengthen muscles without overburdening joints. Be sure to stay well hydrated, as you may sweat more than you realize while working out in the water. It is also a great idea to keep a flotation device around if you are not a strong swimmer.  

    Water Exercise Infographic

  3. Cycling

    Discover the joy of cycling, either stationary, through something like a recumbent bike, or outdoors on a bicycle. Cycling is heart-healthy and gentle on knees and joints thanks to the smooth motion of pedaling. If space is limited, you can also look into a smaller option such as a floor pedal device that can even go under your work desk.  

  4. Strength Training with Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands can be a wonderful tool for strength training to build muscle in a low impact way, and without joint strain. I keep a pair of bands in my office (as well as my travel bag), as they are very easy to store. As you add this into your routine, it is highly recommended to begin with light resistance and increase as you grow stronger. While focusing on building physical strength, draw parallels to the strength God gives us to face life's many challenges.

  5. Mindful Stretching

    Set aside time for mindful stretching. Stretching can help decrease risk of injury, help your joints move through their full range of motion, increase blood flow to the muscle, and improve your body’s ability to move more efficiently. During these movements, concentrate on deep breathing to reduce stress and promote calmness. One thing I like to do as I stretch each day, is pray about entrusting my concerns to God, and relying on His care and grace to get me through the day. 

    Low Impact Exercise Infographic


Incorporating these exercises into your daily life can help promote both physical and spiritual health. Get creative and have fun with it! By taking the time to nurture our bodies, we honor the life God has given us and prepare ourselves to serve Him better. I pray your journey of health and discipleship brings you strength, renewal, and a closer relationship with our wonderful Creator who accompanies us at every step. How will you add exercise into your day? Let us know in the comments section below!  

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