The 7 Best Low-Impact Sports in De Pere WI

The 7 Best Low-Impact Sports (and Where to do Them in the De Pere WI Area)

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That ache in your hips after a day sitting at the office, that twinge in your knees as you walk up the stairs, that pang in your wrist as you fold the laundry - once joint pain starts, it can feel hard to keep up with the day-to-day activities of our lives, let alone exercising. Often, when we experience joint pain in De Pere WI, we're inclined to lessen our movement to try and protect ourselves from further pain and discomfort. But limiting movement actually does more harm than good!

Many studies show that exercise is a crucial part of managing joint pain. Without regular movement, the cartilage surrounding our joints doesn't get adequately lubricated with synovial fluid (that's the fancy name for the liquid that acts like a cushion for our joints and reduces friction when we move them). Over time, the cartilage loses elasticity and becomes frail, increasing friction and causing joint pain.

The good news is there are many ways to effectively manage acute and long-term joint pain without turning to surgeries or medications. Keep moving by engaging in low-impact sports, using at-home therapies like ice, heat, and orthopedic aids, and regularly visiting the chiropractor who can help assess your musculoskeletal system, discover the root cause of joint pain, and offer targeted treatment to help prevent and alleviate further injury.

Whether you're new to exercise or a long-time athlete, trying low-impact sports is a fantastic way to manage joint pain and have fun, and the Green Bay and De Pere areas have plenty of great options! Here are seven of the best sports to play when you want to avoid putting too much stress on your body. Plus, we've included a few local places where you can enjoy them!

Top 7 Best Low-Impact Sports in De Pere WI


1. Rowing & Kayaking

Rowing and kayaking have been around for centuries, and they really are some of the best no-gimmick exercises around. Both are simple, high-benefit, low-impact exercises that people can do at every level of fitness. You'll get a total body workout, using 80% of your muscle mass with every rowing stroke with very little impact on the joints. In fact, a 2014 study found that rotations in the elbow, shoulder, lumbar, and knee improved by 30% after 8 weeks of rowing. One of the best added benefits? Your mental health will improve too. Both rowing and kayaking allow you to practice mindfulness while you paddle and enjoy nature.

Where to row or kayak in Green Bay or De Pere

Luckily for northeast Wisconsin residents, we live in a kayaker's paradise. With the bay of Green Bay, Fox River, East River, and tons of other inland lakes and rivers right at our doorstep, you'll never run out of places to paddle.

Check out this list of the 15 best spots for kayaking in the area. If you're more into rowing or want to add an indoor activity to your list for those chilly winter months, check out local fitness centers in the area. Many have rowers available for members and special rowing fitness programs.

2. Rock climbing

Rock climbing and bouldering are gaining in popularity across the country, and the Green Bay area is no exception. Climbing is another low-impact exercise that works a ton of muscle groups, giving you a full-body workout without the joint shock of heavy-impact exercises. It can also be practiced by people of all fitness levels, so there's no barrier to entry. You may want to take an intro class to learn the basics, but even the most out-of-shape person can get up on the wall and give it a try! And because climbing is gaining more traction in the larger fitness world, this sport offers a fun way to try something completely new and connect with a new community.

Where to climb in Green Bay or De Pere

You might not think it since we're far removed from the mountainous and hilly areas we see out west, but Wisconsin is actually a great place for rock climbing! There are many great outdoor routes to tackle at Devil's Lake, along the Niagara escarpment, Kettle Moraine, along the Baraboo Range, and more!

If you're looking for an indoor challenge in the Green Bay and De Pere area, you're in luck! Odyssey Climbing Gym, Green Bay's first-ever climbing gym, is opening its doors in Winter 2023 and will offer members climbing, bouldering, lessons, youth programs, and classes.

3. Roller Skating

Roller skating is also enjoying a resurgence of popularity right now, so there's no better time to join the skating community. Roller skating offers a great lower-body workout, working the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, and is very low-impact, letting you glide and twirl while being gentle on your joints. It's also a sport that anyone can do, no advanced level of fitness or experience necessary! Be aware, though, learning to skate comes with inevitable falls, so if you're prone to balance issues, this might not be the sport for you. If you still think you want to experience the world on wheels, make sure to buy the right safety equipment like a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards.

Check out some of these popular rollerblading and roller skating Instagram accounts for inspiration: RollerBunni, SKATEFANTACEE, Oumi Janta, and Solomon Snowden.

Where to roller skate in Green Bay or De Pere

You’ll have to take a trip down to the Fox Valley to hit an indoor rink. Skaters EDGE, Gem Roller Rink, and the Fox Valley Roller Rink are all great indoor rinks to get your skate on. If you're looking to skate outdoors, try a scenic route of Green Bay and De Pere's many bike paths along the Fox River or East River. If you're just starting out, practicing on a smooth tennis court is recommended for beginners. Green Bay and De Pere have many tennis courts at parks throughout the area.

4. Cross-country skiing

Winter in northeastern Wisconsin may come with challenges, but there are still plenty of ways to keep moving when the big freeze hits. Cross-country skiing is a great winter sport to keep you moving while being gentle on your joints. You'll work almost all muscle groups, burn serious calories, and get to take in the natural beauty of winter in Wisconsin.

Where to cross-country ski in Green Bay or De Pere

Thanks to the extensive park systems across Brown County, there are a variety of wonderful cross-country skiing opportunities, with over 30 miles of marked and groomed cross-country trails throughout the county. When the snow starts to accumulate, strap on your skis and visit Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve, Neshota Park, and the Reforestation Camp.

5. Swimming

Known for many decades as THE low-impact exercise, you can't get much gentler on your joints than swimming. As long as you know how to swim safely, you can adjust this exercise to fit your fitness level and physical limitations. In addition to being low-impact, swimming strengthens the muscles around your joints and reduces inflammation which helps improve joint function. If you're struggling with weight and looking to lose some pounds, swimming is a great place to start because your body is buoyant in the water, making you feel lighter and move more effortlessly.

Where to swim in Green Bay or De Pere

During the summer, swim at one of Green Bay's three public pools or De Pere's two public pools. Try aquatic centers like the CP, the YWCA, or the Kroc Center to swim indoors.

6. Cycling

With rhythmic, cyclical movements, cycling exerts very little force on the joints. The full weight of your body sits on the saddle of the bike, so there is less strain on the knees, and it can be done at whatever intensity suits your fitness level. There is also a very low barrier to entry with cycling; most people know how to ride a bike, and it's easier to fit cycling into a daily routine if you incorporate it into your work commute or daily errands. Stationary bikes and indoor cycling classes are also just as effective. Even with low resistance, you'll get a heart-pounding cardio workout while staying gentle on the joints.

Where to bike in Green Bay or De Pere

There are dozens and dozens of great biking trails, paths, and roads throughout Brown County, and you can find a comprehensive map here. To keep things low-shock, stick to smoother roads and paths and avoid bumpier mountain bike trails. The Fox River State Trail and the Baird Creek Bike Trail are beautiful, paved paths perfect for scenic rides.

7. Walking

If you want to keep it as simple as possible, walk! Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise and has numerous health benefits in addition to being easy on the joints. Study after study shows that walking is one of the best ways to keep your mental and physical health in tip-top shape. While other types of exercise can be more physically demanding, more demanding doesn't necessarily translate to a "better workout." In a recent National Runners' Health Study, researchers found that "the energy used for moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease over the study's six-year period." So if your joints need a break, don't feel bad about skipping the jog. Just invest in a good pair of shoes and head outside!

Where to walk in Green Bay or De Pere

Anywhere and everywhere! Northeastern Wisconsin is full of trails, parks, and neighborhoods ready and waiting for you! And if you're looking to stay indoors, hop on a treadmill at a local gym or an elliptical for an even more low-impact walk.

Managing your joint pain.

While low-impact exercise is a wonderful way to manage joint pain, it's also important to find the root cause before you engage in a new exercise routine. A chiropractor can help assess the overall alignment of your spine and musculoskeletal systems to determine the cause of joint problems. After a root cause is found, regular chiropractic adjustments can help improve nervous system function and joint mobility, which will help decrease pain and allow you to keep moving!

If you're concerned about joint pain, visit us at Integrity Health & Wellness for a full assessment. We'll work to address the root cause of any issues and create a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs.

9:00am - 12:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm

By Appointment Only


Integrity Health And Wellness

1680 Mid Valley Dr Ste C
De Pere, WI 54115

(920) 658-5040