Aerobics classes are one example of a good total-body exercise. To get really dramatic results from this type of activity, however, people often go the high-impact-exercise route, where overuse injuries are common.
Running and jogging on a treadmill are also great exercises for cardiovascular conditioning. But again, they are high-impact exercises that frequently cause an undue amount of damage to the feet, ankles, legs, or hips. If done without regular stretching, these exercises can actually reduce flexibility. Proper use of a treadmill, however, considerably reduces your chances of injury, and it allows you to monitor your heart rate at the same time.
Indoor rowing (on a rowing machine) is one of the top-rated aerobic exercises.
Spinning and indoor rock climbing are two of the best aerobic exercises you can choose—according to some studies, at least. They tend to be gentler on joints and bones than the high-impact exercises, and yet they aid in conditioning all the major upper- and lower-body muscle groups.
Walking on a treadmill has always been a popular exercise, but it needs to be done at a brisk, “power-walking” pace to get the full cardiovascular benefit. Most people don’t walk fast enough, or at a high enough incline, to get an aerobic workout.