The podiatrist confirmed “Yes, you have a hairline fracture in the 3rd metatarsal.”
NOOOOO, I thought to myself, this can’t be happening.
My mind started racing with all of the things I was going to miss.
There is finally a swell arriving tomorrow, I am supposed to start yoga teacher training on Friday, and what about all my family and friends visiting next week, I’m not going to be able to do anything…UGH… 😥
The grey cloud appeared over my head, and as much as I was trying to out run it, I couldn’t of course, after all you can’t run very fast when you have a broken foot. 😛
The doctor went on to inquire about how the fracture happened. When I mentioned I was running sprints on the treadmill in my minimus shoes he glanced up.
“After that book about barefoot running came out, I saw an 10x increase in metatarsal fractures in my practice. Stop running in those shoes,” the doctor said.
He was referring to the book “Born To Run” by Chris Mc Dougall, which is responsible for popularizing bare-foot running and bringing it to the mainstream. I haven’t read the book myself, but ended up buying a pair of these minimalist shoes a few years back, with the encouragement of Nick. If you’re not familiar with a minimalist shoes, it differs from a traditional running shoe with much less padding.
Now, I could never know for certain if these shoes are even partly responsible for the fracture in my foot. It could be a combination of things such as: repetitive use, biomechanics of how I run, not enough stretching of my ankle/foot muscles, etc.
But either way, I’ve decided to minimize risk for another injury. Among others, I have decided:
I am breaking up with my minimalist shoes.
At least for running.
Which brings me to my current dilemma.
- No running.
- No spinning.
- No rowing.
- No yoga.
- No surfing.
- No dead lifts.
- No burpees.
- No walking (except what is necessary).
How am I going to stay sane? What am I going to do with all this free time?
How am I going to stay fit, lean, and aid in my recovery while I am injured?
This got me thinking of what I can do right now, with my current limitations.
Here’s what I’ll be focusing on – 3 practices that can help you if you’re injured…and even if you’re not!
3 Ways to Stay Active and Healthy When You Can’t Use Your Foot
1) Clean up Your Nutrition
The most important aspect of staying lean and fit when you’re less active is to eat well. Being mindful of what you eat will have the biggest impact not only on your waistline, but also on your healing process.
My philosophy is to focus on eating foods that make me feel good. Foods that make me feel light and energized. I am not referring to eating a cookie or pint of Ben n Jerry’s ice cream because in the moment it feels good. I am talking about foods that after you eat them, leave you feeling full of energy, satisfied, and without regret. The last thing I want to do is eat a bunch of junk food and then be left on the couch to think about it.
Foods that make me feel light and energized are salmon with avocado, blueberries with Greek yogurt, banana protein smoothies, and eggs with broccoli and feta cheese. You can count on me eating a lot of these small meals over the course of the next 8 weeks.
When your body is healing, the nutrients you consume can speed up or slow down the process. There are various vitamins and minerals that can aid in the recovery process. Adequate protein intake is very important as you heal a broken bone. On the flip side, eating processed foods and excess sugar can have the opposite effect. So, I am eating ample protein and lots of colorful veggies to insure a speedy recovery.
2) Learn to work around your injury
As someone who is very active, having an injury that sidelines me to the couch can be hard both physically and mentally. Finding a way to get in an intense workout is a MUST to release some energy and give me the mental clarity I enjoy.
I’ve been lucky to get this far in life without an injury. This is the first for me. When you are striving for certain goals, sometimes an injury happens. But through this experience, I realize if you are willing to accept your situation, you can find a work around. I discovered a way to get in an intense workout with weights that focuses solely on the upper body.
I did this workout today sitting on the ground. 10 rounds, 30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest.
- Seated Row with resistance bands
- Seated Press with dumbbells
- Hollow Body Hold (see picture) -Press lower back into the floor, hands above head, and squeeze lower abs. Total Killer!
3) Focus on Your Mental Fitness (Mindfulness)
By far, this is the part of my fitness routine that I have the most resistance to. Carving out 10-20 minutes each day to focus on what I like to call my mental fitness.
Sitting still, focusing on my breath, and allowing for the thoughts to come and go is a powerful practice that can bring so much peace and calm. It is such an important piece of overall wellness that is easily pushed to the side with the demands of our busy lives.
And also, because it is ‘effin HARD.
We all have such innate resistance to it – we just go-go-go.
Our minds are on a repeat play list of our mental chatter. Todays to-do list, yesterdays conversation with our boss, what we are doing tomorrow, with very little time focused on the here and now. The present.
But practicing mindfulness can help bring focus to what is important and perspective to what is going on around us that grounds us in present.
People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.
–Eckhert Tolle, Author of Power Of Now
A very interesting thought to ponder.
On top of that, calming your nervous system has positive effects on your healing ability. When you’re able to get out of the fight or flight response and stop producing the corresponding stress hormones, you can get into the rest and digest mode which is when healing and repair takes place. The more time you can spend in this restful state, the quicker the healing process.
So now I’d like to hear form you. Have you ever been injured before? How did you stay active while recovering? I want to know, inspire me with your greatness 🙂 .