Exercises that are easiest on joints

As we get older, exercise becomes a little tougher on our joints. Suddenly rigorous activities like running start to wear down the knees, hips and ankles. But if you're experiencing joint issues during exercise, the solution isn't to stop physical activity. In fact, not staying active can actually be worse for your joints. Limiting your movements can weaken muscles, affect your posture and even damage joints further. The good news is, there are ways of exercising that will keep you active and can help you maintain comfortable and healthy joints. It's all about knowing your limitations and taking part in physical activity that is easy on the joints. Here are a few workouts you can add to your exercise regiment that won't leave your joints in poor health:

If you love running but your joints simply can't stand the impact that comes from running on a city street, try the elliptical instead. This machine allows you to get a great cardio workout while still being gentle on the joints. You don't lift up your feet as you would on a treadmill, making it easier on the knees, back and hips.

Hop in the pool to swim a few laps. Not only is this a great cardiovascular workout, but it's super easy on the joints. Swimming works your whole body all at once, improving muscle strength, cardiovascular conditioning, endurance, flexibility and posture all at the same time. While you're in the water, you are non-weight bearing, putting almost no pressure on your joints.

Ease your stress by taking part in yoga. These breathing and stretching exercises work wonders for your body and joints. Yoga improves mood, boosts the immune system, promotes better sleep and reduces stress. Even NFL football players Tom Brady, Tony Romo and LaDainian Tomlinson turn to yoga to help them with conditioning and range of motion.

If you're lucky enough to live in an area with great hiking, you have an exercise opportunity right in your backyard. Not only does this enable you to breathe nature's fresh air, it works to tone the legs while keeping the impact at a minimum.

When you think exercise, golf probably isn't one of the first things you think of. However, this sport actually provides a bevy of ways to keep moving. According to Greatist.com, golfers take an average of 10,000 steps, or about five miles, in a typical round. All that walking can really add up and it's gentle on the joints.