We Love Our Low-Intensity Hot Girl Walks, But How Do They Differ From Low-Impact Workouts?

There are so many ways to get exercise. Long gone are the days when we felt like we have to spend hours in the gym to get the health benefits of exercise. With diverse options like yoga, jogging, and even the popular "hot girl walks," there are so many exercises that you can do every day. However, with low-impact and low-intensity workouts becoming more mainstream across social media, there's an intense spotlight on what they actually are and how they differ.


It's common to get the two confused for one another due to their similar names. "The inclusion of the moniker of 'low' is what really tends to throw people off," Lynsey Price, the director of training and development at SLT, tellsĀ Well and Good. To clarify, an exercise can be both low-intensity and low-impact. However, the main difference between the two exercises is how they affect your heart and body.

What are low-intensity workouts?

According to WebMD, low-intensity workouts can be described as exercises you can do while still carrying on a conversation. This is because your heart rate stays at a steady pace, not exceeding 50% of its maximum. Doing low-intensity workouts is amazing for people who want to lower the risk of injuries and improve blood flow. Examples of low-intensity workouts include walking the dog, yoga, and bicycling. "In addition to improving cardiovascular fitness, some other benefits of low-intensity workouts are less fatigue and pain, elevated mood, improved sleep quality, and better mobility and balance, all while protecting the joints," explains Price.


Aside from their health benefits, low-intensity workouts allow people to do exercises that are suited best for their fitness level and bodily needs and build on them over time. To get the most benefit from low-intensity workouts, the best option is to do them for longer periods.

What are low-impact workouts?

The difference between low impact and low intensity has to do with your body's reaction to them. According to Cigna, unlike low-intensity workouts, low-impact allows your heart rate to be raised gradually and continuously. "Low-impact workouts are far more sustainable for the body," Price says. "They minimize injury, and they also promote recovery." Examples of low-impact workouts include squats, step-ups, and seated hamstring stretches. Unlike low-intensity exercises, low-impact exercise programs should not be attempted without consulting a doctor if you have a preexisting injury or joint issues.


There is a misconception that low-impact exercises are inherently easy due to their name. However, physical therapist Kate Bochnewetch, DPT, CSCS, founder of the Running DPT in Buffalo, explains to SELF that low-impact exercises are still extremely effective. People can still have a hard, strenuous workout while doing low-impact exercises and using higher rep counts and shorter rest times.