Low-impact aerobics protect your joints and burn calories.
Fifty-five minutes of low-impact aerobics can help you reach your calorie-burning goals. Many types of aerobic activities are considered low-impact, including walking, dancing and step aerobics. Your calories burned depends on the activity, your body weight and, of course, the amount of energy you put into the workout.
Reduce the Impact
The easiest way to define a low-impact aerobic exercise is to say it is an activity that is rhythmic, continuous, uses your arms and legs, and always has one foot in contact with the floor. In other words, you never have both feet off the ground, even for a second as you do when running, which is a high-impact exercise. Aerobic exercises improve your heart-health, while burning calories to fuel your workouts. You burn a higher number of calories when you use more muscle groups. For example, use your arms when dancing or walking to increase the calorie-burning benefits. Or, vary your intensity. For example, walk fast and then slow your pace before you walk fast again. These various intervals increase the number of calories burned.
One of the most common types of low-impact aerobics is a group exercise class. Also known as aerobic dance, group exercise classes that are labeled low-impact, use dance-based movements to burn calories. According to Harvard Health Publications, a 125-pound person burns approximately 302.5 calories during 55 minutes of low-impact aerobic dance. The more you weigh, the more calories you burn. For example, a 155- and 185-pound person burns 374 or 445.5 calories during 55 minutes of low-impact aerobic dance.
Step it Up
Low-impact aerobics performed on an aerobic step burns a slightly higher number of calories than aerobic dance performed on the floor. The aerobic step increases the intensity of the workout, but one foot remains on the floor when you keep the exercise low-impact. Harvard Health reports that for 55 minutes of low-impact step aerobics, those who weigh 125, or 155, or 185 pounds burn approximately 385, 473 or 572 respectively.
Walking is another way to perform low-impact aerobics and burn calories. The faster you walk, the more calories you burn. However, keep your pace at a level that always keeps one foot in contact with the ground. A 125-pound person burns approximately 220 calories walking at 3.5 mph for 55 minutes, or 275 walking at 4.5 mph. A 155-pound person walking at 3.5 mph burns approximately 273 calories or 341 calories walking at 4.5 mph. And a 185-pound person burns approximately 326 calories at a 3.5 mph pace, and 499 at a 4.5 mph pace.