Non-impact exercises are ideal if you have bone and joint problems or are recovering from an injury. There are a number of non-impact exercises you can incorporate into your workout, which spare your body from damaging and stressful jarring. While non-impact exercises do not benefit your bone health, they also don't deteriorate your bones. Speak to your doctor before beginning any type of exercise regimen.
Swimming and water aerobics are effective non-impact exercises that practically eliminate all jarring and save your joints and bones from abuse. The water's natural resistance can provide a total-body workout, depending on the type of aquatic training you are doing, while keeping you buoyant. The four traditional swimming styles -- freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly -- engage your upper and lower body in different ways. Water aerobics uses strength-training elements and stretching to train specific body parts. Rehabilitation training often makes swimming or water aerobics part of a program because it is a safe way to train muscles without risking further injury.
Rowing in a scull or on a rowing machine works your arms, chest, shoulders, back and legs all in one smooth and impact-free motion. The pulling action in rowing is a wide and large range of motion that involves practically the entire body, yet does not place any undo stress on joints. Strains can occur in rowing if you do not warm up properly. You should go slow at first if you have a history of shoulder or back problems. Learn proper rowing technique if you are new to the sport to help reduce the risk of injury.
Cross-country skiing is one of the most efficient, and arguably one of the toughest cardiovascular exercises. The smooth gliding motion of the skis over the snow spare your joints from impact. One major technical element that makes cross-country skiing so smooth is that your heels are not attached to the skis, which allows you to push the skis forward by gliding them along the ground rather then having to lift them off the snow and setting them down again. If you happen to fall while cross-country skiing, chances are you'll fall into snow, which helps soften any impact you may experience.
Elliptical trainers have become staples at fitness studios around the country. They are often preferred over treadmills as the smooth elliptical motion of the machine eliminates jarring. Your feet remain on the food pedals at all times while training on an elliptical. This makes it impossible for your ankle or knee joints to be exposed to any impact. Many elliptical trainers feature arm handles that are attached to the foot pedals. The arm handles keep your arms moving along the same smooth elliptical motion of your legs. In this sense, you can get an entire body workout without any impact or stress placed on your joints or bones.