Aerobic exercises are an effective way to kick-start your day, get your blood pumping and help improve your mood. If you have sore joints in your legs, however, some types of workout might be about as thrilling as a trip to the dentist. You don't have to be pounding the pavement to get a beneficial aerobic workout; it's easy to find one with little to no impact.
Whether you want to dust off the stationary bike in your basement, visit a gym or strap on your helmet and take a whirl around the neighborhood, cycling is an aerobic workout that doesn't provide any impact to your joints. It will help you burn plenty of calories -- more than 500 in an hour of cycling if you weigh 155 pounds -- and provide such benefits as increased blood flow and toning to your muscles.
Don't dismiss the simple act of walking as useless when you're considering an aerobic activity that won't wreak havoc on your joints. Walking might not be as flashy as jogging or rock climbing, but it will help you burn calories without sustaining much impact. A 155-pound person who walks at a brisk pace can burn nearly 250 calories in an hour, which might not be as many as other activities, but is ideal if you're unaccustomed to physical activity.
In addition to being a refreshing way to spend a hot, sunny day, swimming is an aerobic workout that doesn't provide any impact to your joints. Whether you choose to swim laps in a backyard pool or sign up for lessons at a community center, expect to get a full-body workout through swimming. In an hour, a 155-pound person will burn nearly 500 calories through swimming slow freestyle laps; for even more of a workout, without adding any extra impact, try the breaststroke or butterfly.
Ice skating and in-line skating have enormous aerobic benefits while providing next to no impact for your joints. Your decision to try out either sport depends on your situation; if you live in a cold climate or near an arena, ice skating is ideal. Otherwise, in-line skating is probably more suitable. A 155-person who in-line skates for an hour will burn nearly 850 calories, which is comparable to long-distance running but without the impact to your joints.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.