Suffering from arthritis, bone spurs, or other chronic joint pain at a young age can make it even harder to get up the motivation to engage in cardio exercise. However, remaining sedentary isn't a good choice either; the more weight you gain through a stationary lifestyle, the greater the pressure put on your already-aching joints and the lower your motivation to increase this pain (albeit temporarily) by engaging in vigorous activity. Staying active is the key to keeping your joints in good shape, but where can you begin when every step or twist is accompanied by a twinge of pain? Read on for several effective, calorie-burning exercises for those whose joints can often make it difficult to move painlessly. 


Swimming and water aerobics are by far the lowest-impact cardiovascular activities available, and can be the perfect exercise method for those with hip, knee, ankle, or lower back pain. Water can make you nearly weightless, ensuring you'll raise your heart rate and give your lungs a good workout without pounding down on already-battered joints. After an exercise session, you may even find that this weightlessness has left you with less pain upon exiting the pool than you had upon entering, even if you've spent the last hour or two engaged in some strenuous exercises. 

Because there exists such a wide range of water-related exercises, you should be able to find something that works well for your body and your cardio needs, whether this is low-impact water aerobics, swimming long-distance laps, or even playing a fun sport like water polo or attempting to synchronized swim. 

Recumbent bicycling

Even if you have knee or hip issues, the relative low-impact exercise of a recumbent bike can increase your heart rate enough to get a good cardio workout. This exercise also strengthens your thigh and calf muscles, which is especially helpful for those with knee and ankle problems that can cause certain muscles to overcompensate (and others to atrophy) in an attempt to avoid pain while walking, standing, or climbing stairs.

By working on these muscles in particular, you'll be able to bring your joints into proper alignment and ensure you're not contributing to their wear and tear through the activities of daily living. 

Circuit training with weights

While weight lifting has often been placed in the "anaerobic" category of exercise, circuit training -- completing multiple repetitions or "circuits" quickly and then immediately moving to the next activity -- can significantly beef up the number of calories you burn at the gym while also strengthening your muscles and bones in the process.

You may want to concentrate particular effort on the muscles surrounding your affected joints, as strengthening these muscles can take some of your weight away from the joint, minimizing the amount of impact it experiences through some of the basic activities you perform (like walking, driving, lifting heavy objects, or bending down). 

Speak with a business like Elite Fitness and Training for more information.