Weak ankles, ankle injuries, and healing after ankle surgery are all reasons why low-impact cardiovascular exercises that don’t strain the joints are an excellent choice. Just choose wisely to optimize your caloric burn and protect your ankles at the same time. Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program, especially if your ankles are weak or injured.
Low Impact Cardio
Choose from among a number of low-impact cardiovascular workout options if you're interested in avoiding strain or stress on the ankles. A padded mat will soften the impact to your joints from activities such as kickboxing, power yoga, boxing, and interval training. The padding of the mat will absorb the impact when your feet hit the ground, allowing you to move quickly from pose to pose in yoga or maintain balance while kickboxing or boxing.
Because of the buoyancy of water, that your ankles have less weight to bear during a cardio workout. Because the water provides resistance, you can more easily work the whole body and increase your heart rate by swimming laps or doing water aerobics with a no-impact workout for your ankles.
Elliptical equipment focuses on working your quads, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles, some of the largest muscles in the body, in a cardio workout that increases your heart rate and your caloric burn. Because your feet never leave the pedals, the impact to the ankles lessens, whether you opt for a standing elliptical machine or an elliptical bike, and thus, little chance of strain or injury.
Riding a Bike
A stationary bike offers the same protection for your ankles as elliptical workout equipment. Your feet never leave the bike pedals, which means the focus of the workout are the gluteal muscles and upper thighs. Some bikes offer the option of getting your arms into the motion of the workout, thus increasing your caloric burn and cardio benefits.