Exercise is a very important part of overall health. Cardiovascular activity is a necessity. If you want to keep fit, lose some weight or just feel better in yourself then nothing beats a good workout.

However, people with orthopaedic problems or joint issues can often find it hard to find exercises to help keep fit and maintain a healthy weight. Fortunately, there are a number of exercises that have a very low impact on joints and help strengthen the surrounding muscles.


Water Based Exercises


Water based exercises such as water aerobics and swimming are among the best exercises for those with joint issues.

Swimming causes a rise in heart rate and causes no joint impact whatsoever. This makes is the ideal cardio workout for those with joint problems.

Water aerobics are also great for toning and use the resistance of the water as a weight. These can be excellent for toning all the major muscle groups. Best of all, water aerobics causes next to no impact on your joints!




Most people with bad knees find cycling is an ideal exercise. Though the knees bend while cycling, the pressure is placed on the leg muscles and doesn’t strain the joints. It’s a great form of cardio exercise and can be done on a stationary bike or a regular bicycle. This has the added benefit of getting you out in the fresh air!


Elliptical Machines


These machines are a strange hybrid device and mix up all sorts of exercises. The trainers work the same muscles as biking, walking and running but, thanks to the way they’re built, they don’t place pressure on your joints.

Elliptical machines generally use the lower portion of the leg to create the motion. However, many also come with handles to ensure a full workout that exercises both the upper and lower body. It’s a low impact workout that can also burn a substantial number of calories.


Upper Body Weights


If you have bad knees or legs, training the upper body can be a really good way to get some exercise. Those looking to lose weight and tone up should focus on doing a high number of repetitions with a relatively low level of resistance. This will ensure that you don’t add too much bulk to your upper body muscles and also raise your heart rate enough to give a good cardiovascular workout. Focusing on the core area is also of benefit.

Other benefits of weight training include an increase in the metabolic rate and increased strength. If you want to use your gym sessions to get a good cardio workout without using your legs, why not do your upper body weights in circuit training form?

Though people with bad knees and joint problems may find it hard to do some traditional forms of cardio, there are still plenty of exercises out there for you to try.


Want more specific training advice? Why not take a look at some of our further weight loss advice.

Victoria Wills (Founder of NuBeginnings)

Read more about Victoria here.