Can I Exercise While Injured?


Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
I went to “my friendly local podiatrist” and was told that I have plantar fasciitis.  I can’t run until it gets better.  I miss my workouts and I want to exercise.  Is there anything I can do to keep going while I wait for my foot to heal?
No Desire to Be a Couch Potato
Dear Potato,
Well, this is one of those things that you should have brought up with your friendly local podiatrist while you were there.   But I understand that sometimes it is hard to remember everything while in the doctor’s office.  I always know that I should take notes with my questions but I usually forget.
I do have some suggestions for things you can try that might help while you are not able to run.  I think you should check with your doctor about these and by all means if you try one of these activities and it hurts stop doing it!
Swimming – A great aerobic exercise that usually can be done with a foot injury.  You can increase the workout by using kickboards or pull buoys.   Even treading water will get your heartbeat up.  Depending upon how it feels, you can do your walking in the pool.
Stationary bicycle– This works great for some leg and foot injuries.  You can work up a good sweat and build up some muscle at the same time.  Make sure you use the foot straps so that your foot does not slip off the pedal.
Recumbent bicycle– If your injury makes the stationary bike uncomfortable, you can try the recumbent bicycle.  The angle of the peddling may be easier on your injury.
Rowing – With your feet strapped in for stability, you may find this workout hard to beat.
Elliptical – This can be great for runners because there isn’t any impact but it is really increasing your heart rate.  Just make sure you stretch before you start.
So, let’s say that you don’t have access to any of the equipment mentioned above.  Is there anything you can do to stay in shape while you are recovering?
Resistance Bands– These can be used to help your strength and balance.  You can find many simple routines on-line to get you started.
Shadow boxing –This is another workout that can help with strength and balance.  If it hurt too much to stand and punch away, then you can sit and punch.  You’ll work up a sweat even that way.
Chair yoga – This is my favorite!  It is perfect for an injured foot and it is often taught to senior citizens.  In chair yoga, regular yoga poses are modified for people who cannot stand to exercise.  It increases flexibility and relaxation.  It will help with the stress that you feel from not being able to do your daily run.  Who knows, you may decide that yoga is for you!  To learn about it and get routines, you can look on line under “chair yoga” and find many sites to help you.
Actually, chair yoga is recommended for office workers also.  It is a way to work out those kinks from sitting in a chair at a desk all day.
Hopefully, these ideas will keep you sane while waiting to be back on the trail.  Who knows, maybe you will find a new favorite exercise!  Or find a way to cross train even when you are back able to run.
Your pal,
Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to or leave them in the comment section below.  I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
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