Exercising during recovery (Guest post)

footOver the last 10-15 years, I’ve been dealing with foot pain. The last three, since I started my highland games sport, have seen the pain increase exponentially. I don’t know if it’s the spinning, the cleats or both, but the pain has been unbearable. Highland games take several hours, so it’s a lot of time on my feet, and I typically would change shoes 3 or 4 times during the day. I’ve finally had surgery on both feet to break some bones and align my toes properly. The time off has been great as I was suffering from burnout from work as well.

It became apparent once the drugs started to wear off after surgery that my lack of movement was going to cause me problems. I’m moderately active normally, but lying in bed with my feet up and doing nothing was making it impossible to sleep, and sleep is something I’ve struggled with for a long time, so when I say impossible, I mean, awake for 36 hours impossible. The first few days I was incapable of doing much, so started working my chest, arms and shoulders with resistance bands, just a few minutes at a time, which was exhausting when drugged, later moving to walking around a bit in the stores to get out of the house and tire myself out. Since then I’ve been craving movement.

I googled exercise options and was disappointed with what I saw, so decided I just needed to be creative and modify workouts I know to accommodate my temporary abilities issues. It’s only been a few weeks since the surgery so still not able to do anything requiring balancing or feet. I’ve been in the gym bench pressing, and am back up to my pre-surgery personal best. I have been in the backyard doing (really) modified high intensity interval training, on a chair with a kettlebell and medicine ball and have started pilates, modified slightly as I can’t flex or point my toes, or have the top of my foot touching the floor due to pin placement. This might actually be a bit of a blessing as my workout has to be much better-rounded to accommodate the handicap.

Getting back into the workouts has really been helping me sleep, is relieving some boredom, is probably helping me to heal faster but is getting me pumped up in general about moving more and integrating a few more options into my normal routine.

8 thoughts on “Exercising during recovery (Guest post)

  1. Very interesting and a smart, creative approach! (goes to show you can almost always do something, if you’re careful and smart, and the docs give an okay)

    May I ask – was it surgery for bunions?

  2. Being able to adapt your workouts is really helpful, I’m glad you can do that with some knowlegde, creativity and trial&error. I have to do that a lot too and am also disappointed by the suggestions most people (including medical and sports professional) can come up with. Hopefully, more can learn from your experience with adaptations, so more people will be able to continue exercising despite issues 🙂 It’s 2016 after all, there should be possibilities for everyone 😉

  3. Have you thought about deep water running? Our community pool offers it in the dive tank (no touching the floor there!) and they have a chair lift if you can’t use the stairs into the pool.

  4. Have you looked into deep water running? Our community pool offers it in the dive tank (no touching the ground there!) and there’s a chair lift into the pool if you can’t use the stairs.

    1. I didn’t even think about water exercises. Great idea, though I wouldn’t have been able to do that until stitches healed (about 4 weeks)

  5. I can so relate to this, although instead of actually trying modified, arms only workouts while my foot was broken (in one tiny little bone out of all of them but still no walking, ugh) I just pouted, and waited for it to heal. Your method is better, I’m sure. I’ve gotten progressively more stressed as the weeks have gone on.

    Now, after 12 weeks of no exercise, 1 week away from finally getting the boot cast off my foot, my other foot hurts in the same spot. I have a feeling that my other foot will also break shortly after being able to walk. If it does I will definitely be doing modified workouts of some kind! Did you have any particular sources you borrowed from that were easy to modify? I’ve been thinking I will do aerobics videos, but only do the arms.

    1. Hi Alison. I’m sooo bad at comments! Sorry about the 8 month late reply! I hope your foot has healed up ok! I actually did a lot of arms workouts with free weights, kettlebells and tension straps. I looked for quite a while on the internet for workouts but just couldn’t find anything.

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