Cardio workouts have numerous benefits for the body, including strengthening your cardiovascular health for a reduced risk of heart disease. Cardio also works as one of the best ways to burn calories for improved weight loss and a leaner, more toned body. If you have bad feet and poor ankle strength, many popular cardio routines, like running, aren't possible. Instead, choose from several cardio options that are gentle on the feet and still give you a hard workout.
Although it's often thought that treadmills are the best gym machine to use for boosting your heart and burning calories, elliptical machines might actually give you a better and harder workout. Unlike treadmills, ellipticals don't require impact between your feet and a hard surface because your feet remain in contact with the machine pedals at all times. Plus, the machines often require you to grasp moving handlebars that also help to strengthen and tone your upper body.
Swimming is one of the best cardio workouts for people with bad feet and poor joints, according to the Arthritis Foundation's official magazine. That's because the water holds up your body to reduce stress and pressure on your feet, and the action of swimming puts no impact on your feet. Other water-based workouts that can give you a cardio boost include water aerobics and water walking.
Cycling often burns more calories than more foot-centric cardio workouts like walking. This makes cycling a top choice for those who are trying to control or lose weight without putting a lot of stress on their feet. You can either use a stationary bicycle in your gym or home, or take a bike outdoors as a way to exercise outdoors or commute to and from school or work.
If you're trying to build your upper body strength while also getting a cardio workout, you can try interval training. This includes alternating between body weight exercises like push-ups, chin-ups and pull-ups. Such exercises incorporate numerous muscles while also burning calories, and they also do not place painful stress on your ankles, feet or foot joints.