This June I broke the talus bone in my foot while running a 5K. I have been on crutches most of the summer and it has sucked. And let me tell you, not being able to train for Fall half marathons has been depressing. I could tell you that I handled it like a big girl, but anyone who knows me will tell you that I whined, I sulked, and I threw myself a massive pity party. But when that didn’t help, I accepted the injury and found other ways to exercise.
Here are the 2 exercises that I did this summer to help stay fit.
Phase I: Acute pain/Not able to drive
I bought a table-top upper body ergometer. It is also called a ‘hand cycle.’ I bought the ‘MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike Arm and Leg Exerciser’ on Amazon for $149. I also bought the hand pedals for $39. I was thrilled with the machine. I pulled up a chair, elevated my broken foot on an ottoman, and pedaled away. Never thought I would need one, but I really liked it and I think I’ll use it in the future.
Phase II: Still not weight-bearing but less pain
This is when I started to get creative (also known as cabin-fevered). I used a rowing machine, with only one foot strapped into the pedals. I pushed a leather ottoman next to the rowing machine and elevated my broken foot on this chair. This is an unconventional approach, but it has worked for me. Rowing machines are vastly underappreciated exercise machines.
The key to staying fit while injured is to think outside the box. While I’d prefer to run or attend spin class, some kind of exercise is always better than nothing!
Lauren Napolitano, Psy.D.
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