When trying to lose weight, people often have to decide on what they are going to do and what plan they are going to follow. There are so many ways to get a great workout not only at a gym, but also at home or outside.

Cardio is a great way to lose weight because when you are doing cardio, you are increasing your heart rate and burning more calories, the higher your intensity, the more calories you burn.

Changing and increasing the intensity is also an easy change in order to help burn more. Things such as choosing a larger hill in your hike, or moving faster, can make all the difference in increasing the calorie burn. While you still need to rest, cardio is ideal because it can be done without much rest in between (unlike strength training in which you have to rest and recover).

But this isn’t saying that you shouldn’t rest, this you should still do.

Physical or Medical Limitations can Be Overcome

It is recommended that if you are going to start some sort of exercise program, especially if you haven’t been doing anything for a while, that you speak with your doctor before you get started to make sure that you have no medical conditions or limitations that would dictate what you can and cannot do.

What about when you have a limitation? You have to find other ways to get in the work without causing you more harm than good. Exercise is an important component to leading a healthy lifestyle and finding a way to accomplish it might be a challenge, but not an impossible one. One limitation that a lot of people have is bad knees. Some have it because of arthritis, others because of an injury. Whatever the case may be, this doesn’t have to hinder you from getting cardio in.

Cardio isn’t only Running

One myth out there is that the best form of cardio is running.
This is not true. There are plenty of other options out there that can allow for someone to get their heart rate pumping. Running can cause pain in people even with good knees, especially if they don’t have their form down correctly, are putting in too many miles too quickly, or have bad shoes.

So, when you already have bad knees, avoiding this at all costs is generally the best way to go about it (and also if you are considered obese, it might be better until you lose additional weight to protect your joints at the beginning). Within this article you can find plenty of different cardio workouts that don’t include running, that you can do even with bad knees. Let’s look at what you can do to keep healthy and lose weight without hurting your knees.

Hit the Pools

While many people don’t consider swimming a cardiovascular activity because you’re apparently not sweating, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a great workout for anyone with any sore of injuries because it reduces the stress on the body due to the buoyancy. You can do water aerobics, walking in the water, and whatever swimming technique you use. If you have bad knees though just avoid pushing off the wall.

The Rowing Machine

This seems to be the machine at the gym that gathers the most dust. But it shouldn't be gathering dust at all because it is one of the most efficient cardio machines out there. When using the rowing machine, you are getting a full body workout, not just one body part, and this includes your core strength as well. Increasing the resistance will help you reach your target heart rate for a longer period of time. While it would be expensive to have one of these in your home, you can find one at any of your local gyms in the area.

The Elliptical

This is a favorite of many people. The impact on an elliptical machine is much less than that of running but it still mimics the movements. When on an elliptical machine, your feet are constantly on the pedals which means they are never receiving any impact. You can always increase the intensity by increasing the incline and/or the resistance.

There are multiple options when it comes to bikes. First you can hit the gym and take a cycle (spin) class which incorporates music and different intervals to mimic hills and racing on a flat road. You can also have a stationary bike in the home. These are quite easy to have in the home (and can be found at the gym) and come reasonably prices, with some being under $150. You can search for them at local places like Target and Walmart for some of the cheapest prices. Then you can always spend the time in the great outdoors with the family as well or even solo and explore your local neighborhood on bike. Looking online you can easily find a bike from many big box stores such as Walmart or Target, but you can also go to a sports store like Dick’s Sporting Goods where they will help fit you for a bike and make sure that when you walk out the door it’s working correctly. You can find a hybrid bike (which works well on road and trails) at Target for $350, and that’s the mid-price range, there are plenty that are below and above this price.

There are so many options when it comes to low impact cardio workouts to help protect those who have ailments and are suffering with bad knees. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop being healthy. Take some of the exercises above and try them out to see which one you enjoy the most. That is the key to losing weight, whatever you do, you have to enjoy it. The more it feels like a chore, the less likely you are to continue with it.

Have fun finding the cardio workout that works for you.

Author's Bio: 

Stella Hawar is a writer and a mother of an adorable boy who likes to practice yoga, do Pilates, cook and watch movies with her husband.