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Shed 25 Pounds with These 10 Gentle Workouts

No, you don’t need high-intensity workouts to lose weight.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Losing weight doesn't have to be a miserable, grueling experience—it's possible to lose 25 pounds with gentle exercise and consistent healthy lifestyle habits. "I strongly promote the ethos of 'movement is medicine'; it seems less formal and more accessible than exercise," Dr Esther Fox, director of physiotherapy and clinical lead at Mount Kelly Physiotherapy, tells The Telegraph. "Simple things like walking to the shops, cycling into town, gardening, or even dancing in the kitchen are good for your health – and can help you prevent and overcome a variety of illnesses." Here are key exercises that will help you lose fat without the dread of painful exercise.


Woman exercise walking in the park listening to music with headphone

Walking is the ultimate gentle exercise to burn fat and help lose weight. "Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight," says Harvard Health. "Among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half."

RELATED: 12-3-30 Walking Method: 20 Proven Tips to Lose Weight Faster


Professional swimmer, swimming race, indoor pool

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that takes pressure off your joints and can be as intense as needed. "As cardiovascular exercises go, swimming offers a little less wear and tear on the body than other options," exercise physiologist Christopher Travers, MS, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "It's a good choice for just about anyone."


Silhouettes of four young hikers with backpacks are walking in mountains at sunset time

Hiking is a gentle and effective way to burn fat while being out in nature. "Hiking is one of the best ways to get exercise," says the National Park Service. "No matter what type of trail you find yourself on, hiking is a great whole-body workout—from head to toe and everything in between."

Water Aerobics

Aqua aerobics in water sport center

Water aerobics is a low-impact workout that can encourage weight loss. "When in the water, your joints experience less impact, making the pool a welcoming environment for anyone with arthritis or joint injuries," according to Harvard Health. "The resistance you encounter in water also means that you burn more calories than you would on land."

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Group of happy people with coach dancing in gym

Dance is a great way to be active and social while losing weight. "Dancing is accessible to everybody," former professional dancer Dr. Lauren Elson tells Harvard Health. "People who can't stand can use the rest of their body while seated, people who have lost movement in their arms can dance with their torso and legs."


Group of young afro american and caucasian sporty people practicing yoga lesson lying in Dead Body pose, Savasana exercise, working out, resting after practice, indoor close up, studio

Yoga—depending on the type—is a gentle and effective workout. "Weight-bearing exercise has been shown to be beneficial to bone remodeling," according to Piedmont Healthcare. "Yoga accomplishes this in a non-impact manner that is less harmful to joints."


Young happy woman in a yellow coat rides a bicycle in a sunny park. Beautiful woman enjoys autumn nature. Relax, nature concept. Lifestyle.

Cycling is a low-impact, gentle way to work out. "One of the major benefits of cycling is that it's low-impact," Jaclyn Kubiak, PT, DPT, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "You're using your big leg muscles to cycle, which is already a huge benefit. But you can also do it in combination with strength training, or you can do it without."

Tai Chi

Seniors in the wellness class do Qi Gong or Tai Chi exercise for relaxation

Tai Chi is a mindful, gentle way to exercise that encourages stress relief and mobility. "Tai chi can improve both lower-body strength and upper-body strength," says Harvard Health. "When practiced regularly, tai chi can be comparable to resistance training and brisk walking."


Fitness young woman working out core and glutes with bodyweight workout doing squat exercises on beach. Asian sporty girl squatting legs as part of an active and fit life.

Squats are low-impact and can be done anywhere. "It's probably the most functional exercise," exercise physiologist Joel Hardwick, ACSM EP-C, EIM2, tells Piedmont Healthcare. "And the one that you probably need most in your life."

RELATED: 15 Quick Ways to Lose Body Fat Percentage in a Week


Young smiling woman gardener in glasses wearing overalls, taking care for orchid in old red milk can standing on orange vintage ladder. Home gardening, love of houseplants, freelance.

Gardening is gentle, low-impact, but keeps you busy and moving. "A busy day in the garden can be a good form of exercise," Lisa Wimmer, APRN, C.N.P., D.N.P., tells the Mayo Clinic Health System. "While tending a garden, you perform functional movement that mimics whole body exercise. You perform squats and lunges while weeding. Carrying bags of mulch and other supplies works large muscle groups."

💪🔥Body Booster: Gentle activity every day is good for mental as well as physical health.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more