Some situations — such as recovering from an injury or being obese — can require that you avoid putting stress on your feet and ankles. However, this doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch and avoid all physical activity.
If you’re advised to avoid weight-bearing activities, we still recommend that you be physically active to some extent. Exercise has many benefits for your overall physical and mental health. In this blog, the doctors at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine list seven activities you can do that won’t strain your feet and ankles.
Getting in the water is one of the best things you can do if you need to take weight off of your feet and ankles. That’s because being in water makes you more buoyant. While you swim, you’re not putting any weight on your feet or ankles, but you’re getting a great cardiovascular workout.
Other nonweight-bearing activities that you can do in the water include running in water or doing water aerobics. Both of these activities can also help you burn more calories thanks to the natural resistance the water provides.
Some yoga moves place stress on your ankles and feet, but many of them do not. Yoga exercises are excellent for keeping you in good physical condition and improving your balance. Ideally, you should work with a yoga instructor who can guide on which positions will take the pressure off your ankles and feet.
3. Riding a bicycle
Whether you want to ride a regular bicycle or a stationary one, it’s an activity that can maintain your physical fitness without putting strain on your ankles and feet. Health specialists often recommend 150 minutes of physical activity a week for cardiovascular benefits, and bike riding is a good way to hit that goal.
4. Range of motion exercises
Range of motion exercises are designed to move your joints and soft tissues to improve or maintain your freedom of movement. While these types of exercise can help if you’ve had an injury or surgery, they can also burn calories and help you get stronger. Depending on your health, we can show you exercises that can help you.
5. Lifting weights while seated
Lifting weights or using resistance bands while seated can help strengthen your upper body without putting stress on your feet or ankles. Building your upper body strength can still help with your overall fitness, even if you’re not working on your legs.
6. Doing isometric exercises
Isometric exercises, which involve contracting particular muscles or groups of muscles, are designed to maintain and, to a lesser extent, build strength. Examples of such exercises include contracting and relaxing the muscles in your buttocks or thighs.
7. Using an elliptical or rowing machine
Using an elliptical or rowing machine is an excellent, nonweight-bearing way to get cardiovascular activity. Both of these activities can also help you burn calories and help you maintain your fitness level.
If you need exercises that don’t put any strain on your feet and ankles, the above list can help you do just that. There are also other activities you can try, and we would be happy to help you come up with an exercise routine. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine today.