Unfortunately, no matter how in shape you are, stress, direct blows, and even ill-fitting shoes can cause a foot fracture. If you’re an athlete or simply an avid gym-goer, working out with a bum foot can seem impossible, but you actually have more options than you might realize.
Here, Dr. Kelly Geoghan shows how you can keep up with your workout routine and protect your broken foot.
There are many cardio exercises that require two healthy feet, but not all of them do. A machine called an upper-body ergometer allows you to “cycle” with your arms, giving you an effective alternative aerobic exercise — no feet required.
You may also try rope exercises that target your upper body and get your heart rate up. Be sure to do these seated as maneuvering the ropes can throw you off balance and risk further injury.
If your situation allows it, you might also consider jumping in the pool to get your dose of cardio. Place a flotation device between your thighs to keep your lower body floating while you use your arms to propel you through the water. Check with Dr. Geoghan before you go diving into the deep end.
With your lower body largely out of commission, now’s a great time to focus on other muscle groups. Grab some dumbbells or use your body weight to target your chest, back, and arm muscles. Some exercises that won’t jeopardize your foot include:
You may also find that doing these exercises in a circuit is beneficial. For example, perform 10 repetitions of a set of exercises three times each.
You don’t have to completely neglect your legs while your foot heals. There are many options and machines that allow you to maintain your leg strength in a seated position, such as seated knee extensions and seated hamstring curls.
This is also a perfect opportunity for you to isolate your core muscles. Roll out a mat or lie down on your living room rug and work through a circuit of crunches, sit-ups, bicycle crunches, etc. It may be best to avoid planks and other ab exercises that require you to bear weight on your feet.
Whether you’ve just started your recovery journey or you’re almost ready to lace up your sneakers, it’s always a good time to start thinking about injury prevention. There’s no guarantee that you’ll never injure your foot again, but a few common-sense things can reduce your risk.
Consider taking these simple steps if you want to avoid a foot fracture in the future:
You can also eat your way to healthier feet. Make sure your diet is rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients to keep your bones strong.
It’s also a good idea to have an expert like Dr. Geoghan on your team to make sure your feet are in the best shape possible. If you’d like more information about how to protect your feet, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Lutherville, Maryland, office today.