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Low-Impact Sport and Leisure Activities

benefits of swimming scaled

Low-impact physical activity refers to any sport or activity that causes minimal wear and tear or trauma to joints and muscles. This type of exercise is ideal for people living with musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis or joint problems.

Many people living with conditions that affect their movement or mobility worry that taking part in sports or exercise will make their condition worse but in fact, staying active can be an important part of managing their condition and keeping mobile.

The Importance of Keeping Active With Musculoskeletal Issues

Many health conditions can cause joint pain and stiffness and affect mobility, including osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases and diabetes.

People who are very overweight or obese may also find that they suffer from joint pain when taking part in high-impact sports that put a lot of strain on the body.

Often, such conditions can cause people to lead sedentary lifestyles for fear of pain or making their condition worse but it is important to keep active.

Physical activity has many incredible benefits but for those living with musculoskeletal problems, it’s especially vital as it can strengthen the muscles supporting your joints and improve your balance and flexibility. It’s also been shown to decrease pain and improve mood.


Swimming is a fantastic full-body workout that combines cardiovascular exercise with strength or resistance training as you move your body through the water.

Swimming or aquatic exercise is ideal for low-impact joint conditioning as the buoyancy takes some of your weight, therefore, easing the pressure on your joints, making movement easier and reducing your risk of further pain or injury.


Golf is another great low-impact leisure activity. It involves lots of walking, which is great for burning calories and can help you maintain a healthy weight.

It’s also an excellent form of exercise for people living with arthritis or osteoporosis as it can help maintain bone density and strength.

Finding a golf course in your area and practising your swing can also help you develop your core strength and encourages gentle movement of your joints to help keep them lubricated and flexible.

Bike Riding

family cycling

Cycling is a great form of cardio whilst still being more low-impact than jogging or running. It also encourages you to spend more time outdoors, which has been shown to improve mood and mental health and helps to ensure you get enough Vitamin D, which is essential for bone health.


Rowing is similar to cycling in that it can give you an excellent cardio workout and improve your heart health and circulation without negatively impacting your health condition or placing too much strain on your joints.

Rowing is also a good way of building up muscle strength, which can improve your flexibility and range of movement in the longer term.

Rowing can also be done on gym apparatus if you don’t live near water or aren’t ready to take the plunge in a real boat just yet!