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Best cardio for bad foot

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Old 07-11-2010, 09:57 AM   #1
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Default Best cardio for bad foot

I am having trouble with "2nd toe/ball of foot pain" so I need cardio exercises off my feet. I'm thinking rowing machine, recumbent bike or spinning type bike. No access to swirmming. What would be the best investment for best cardio workout? I think rowing might be the best overall body workout. Between the two types of bikes, not sure what is best?? Don't know if I have enough endurance yet for spinning type bike. Is recumbent good enough? Help!
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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I deal with arthritic joints in both big toes, worse in the left one (what some call a "dorsal bunion") and plantar fasciitis recurring in my left foot. This is not exactly your problem, so the weight-bearing part of your foot may vary.

When my foot is worst, I stay on a regular stationary bike. (The recumbent doesn't benefit me any more than the regular bike & does not give me a better workout.) I'm fine with the resistance cranked pretty high, but this is because I am okay with pushing down hard on my feet. Your injury may vary. I also swim, but the breast stroke is not my favorite at these times. Anyway, you say you can't swim.

When I row, I actually find that I am using my feet, though my quads more, so at the worst flareups, I wouldn't row. But that would be the next exercise I'd add, once my feet were a little better.

I've found spinning is completely different from the stationary bike, because of the standing, particularly standing sprints, the hovering, and the jumps. If you spin, you may take it easy on those moves. I do not spin if my plantar fasciitis is bad. Some of the standing spin moves are pretty much like the movement I do on the arc trainer & elliptical, so I consider spin a sort of hybrid between stationary bike/elliptical work.

So yeah, the way I work is that I get up in the morning & find out how my feet are doing & plan the day's exercise from there. No matter how good I feel, I try to be on a bike at least half the week, so as not to push my luck.

The absolute worst thing I've done is try to run for more than two consecutive days. Can't do it. I break down every time. So a run is a rare treat for me, and I try to do it at this absolutely wonderful state park near me, with hills & a packed-dirt surface, on a gorgeous summer day. And the next day, for recovery, I'm absolutely on a bike.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
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Saef, thanks for such a full answer! I'm like you - one day is pretty good and the next day I can barely walk! So I'd like to get off my feet at least for exercise, hopefully it will heal up. If not, I'll just have to deal like you do.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:04 PM   #4
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Kris, I have a recumbent exercise bike. I ride it 6x a week first thing in the morning for 35-40 minutes. While I consider myself a pretty "lazy" exerciser (cardio is a necessary evil), I am faithful about it. I like the recumbent because I can read, check my email, the weather, listen to podcasts/music and play games on my itouch. I have ridden one consistently throughout my weight loss journey and maintenance. I also do weight training 3x a week as well.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:48 PM   #5
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Hey Kris - we are at the same height and starting weight!
It's a little repetitive, but shadow boxing (doing different types of punches) would probably burn a decent amount of calories if that's something you're interested in.
To work the rest of your body, you could do workouts on those big balance balls ... there's a lot of DVDs out there that you can follow along to. My favorite is 10 minute solutions Pilates on the Ball. It's not a huge calorie burner but at least you're able to work different muscle groups.
Just some suggestions! Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:42 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone! Good ideas -
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