Working out While Injured

Foot Brace to hold my toe in place.

I broke my toe. I stubbed my toe on my 10-pound weight while going to open up the window so I can get air to finish out my workout hour at home. I didn’t pay attention to where I was walking, and I stubbed my index toe (the toe next to the big toe) on the 10-pound weight. I heard a crack, and I KNEW that was not a good sound to hear.

Now that that is out of the way, I want to let you know that I still worked out right after the stubbing happened – I had a 15 min stretch of workout left.  Yes, I was working out while injured. It hurt, but I figured that the pain could dwindle down by the nights end. Please know that this is not the right thing to do, and I advocate halting all activity if you feel an injury occurred that is outside of your pain threshold. The pain in my toe did not dwindle down by night’s end. I visited urgent care the next morning for an x-ray to confirm what I was dreading – I have a toe fracture.

How do you workout when you have a toe fracture? You workout intentionally and carefully. There are many upper body workouts that can be done: bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder press, and variations of the aforementioned. You can even perform pushups (modified by using the wall instead of pushing your body up from the floor). But, what do you do when you want to do lower body workouts? We look for exercises that would not require weight placement on the foot that is injured. One main exercise that I am looking into placing into my rotation – leg lifts. Outer leg lifts, inner leg lifts, diagonal outer leg lifts and diagonal inner leg lifts. All of these lifts I will complete on the floor. In terms of squats, there is an opportunity for me to start doing one legged squats, lifting the leg that is injured in the air, and holding on to a pole or the back of a chair (the same side of the injured foot that is lifted). These are some of the exercises that I am looking to incorporate into my regimen while my toe is mending.

In visiting the foot specialist, it has been determined that the healing of the toe would be approximately 4 to 6 weeks. This can occur given the boot for my foot is worn the majority of the time, I tape up my toe according to how the foot specialist showed me (which was not the way I was advised to tape up the toe from the urgent care doctor), and I minimize the movement of my toe. 

Key takeaways I have learned as a result of my injury

*Always listen to your gut/inner self

*Listen to the advice of medical professionals

*Work within your means

*Have GRACE with what your body can do

Workouts I can do with a foot injury –

*Leg lifts (outer leg)

*Leg lifts (inner leg)

*Fire hydrants

There are definitely modifications that I can find for additional leg exercises, but I am going to keep it simple for the next week and focus mostly on upper body workouts and core exercises.

The one thing I know for certain that I will do is to keep going. I will find ways to workout my body, which doesn’t add stress to my foot. Although I will miss my go to lower body workouts, I know that I will not have to avoid doing these workouts forever and this is what needs to be done now so I can heal by toe as best as I can.

First Visit to the Gym since March

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the gym and working out for the first time since March 2020. In NY, gyms were closed up until the last week in August 2020, and then slowly started opening up in September 2020. I haven’t gone to the gym since March, and partly because I was scared of being in a closed environment along with so many people working out, breathing hard, sweating, etc. I kept up with my workout routine at home, utilizing workouts I would make up myself, walking outdoors, using the peloton app for a variety of exercises as well as trainer directed exercise programs provided by Erica Fit Love.

One of my gym buddies joined a gym, which is a little farther away than us – it is the next town over, but when you are used to driving 3 minutes to your gym, it feels “far”. She has invited me countless times to go, and I have been hesitant, to be honest. I was hesitant because I will be in the vicinity of others while working out. Breathing, sweating, working out – together. She finally asked me again Sunday night to accompany her and I said yes. I said yes because I wanted to see what it was like to workout in the gym again, after working out solo for basically 10 months, with the exception of riding SoulCycle outside in late fall.

So I FINALLY went to the gym, y’all! I met my friend at around 6:45 – which is usually primetime for gym activity. After I checked in as a guest with my friend, she gave me a quick tour of the facility, as I have never been inside of this gym before. It was very spacious, and clean, as far as a gym is concerned. Initially I was concerned when I parked my car because there were a lot of cars in the parking lot. Once inside, my concern went away. The facility is large and spread out nicely. The cardio equipment was on a different floor, the weights section is spread out, and there are multiple sanitizing stations with paper towels and signage encouraging the cleaning of any equipment both before and after use. I felt comfortable here. I completed my cardio training upstairs using the elliptical trainer for 20 minutes. I did workout with my mask on; it is required to put on and keep on your mask for the duration of your stay at the gym. Every other machine was available; the ones not in use had a sign stating that it was “rest day”. In total upstairs there were maybe 5 people using the machines (there were at least 50/60 different cardio machines on this level). I went downstairs to complete my upper body weight training. There was ample space around the machines as well as the weights. There are about three different sections where you can complete your exercises, and I did not feel crowded at all. Everyone was respectful of spacing, and was doing a great job of cleaning the machines.

Overall, I spent a little over an hour at the facility and I feel comfortable going there again with my friend. I am not yet at the point where I want to commit to joining the gym at this point, because I feel good with my workout routine I have set up at home, but I am glad I faced my fear of working out indoors and went to the gym. Would you go back to working out at the gym? How do you feel the environment is at the gym that you go to? I would love to hear your thoughts.