What Is ‘Cozy Cardio’ — and Does It Really Have Health Benefits?


And the good news is low-impact cardio can have many of the same health benefits as high-impact cardio, she says.

Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that walking 10,000 steps per day — a great low-impact option — is associated with a lowered risk of dementia, heart disease, cancer, and death. What’s more, even a lower step count was associated with some benefit. Every 2,000 steps reduced the risk of premature death incrementally by 8 to 11 percent, up to approximately 10,000 steps a day, the study authors reported.

In another study, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, researchers analyzed 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers (with moderate-intensity). They found that both groups had reduced risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol over a six-year follow-up.

Low-impact workouts can also torch calories. According to Harvard Health, similar amounts of calories can be burned with certain high or low-impact exercises. For example, 30 minutes of moderate cycling burns the same amount of calories as high impact aerobics.

“Intensity, as in how hard you’re working, is a better metric of ability to burn calories,” Dr. Hennessey says. “You can be high-intensity and still low-impact when you’re vigorously riding a stationary bike or increasing your speed while swimming. If you’re starting with lower intensity, you will need more time to have the same amount of calories burned.”


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