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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

What exercise can I do with Plantar Fascitis?

Hi, I have had plantar fasciitis in one foot for nearly a year. Prior to this I was attending Fitness League and dance classes weekly & also walking for at least an hour daily. I was making good progress with the food diary as well. Since the heel pain I have had to stop walking so much & I swim or go to deep water aerobics classes. However my weight loss has slowed down considerably. Please can you suggest any other exercise I could do that wouldn't put any pressure on my feet? I am 51 years old. Thank you.

A.

Our expert says...

Hi there,

Thanks for your email.

You can absolutely work around plantar fasciitis by focusing on the principle that all activity burns calories which means weight loss. You don’t have to do impact exercise and you don’t even have to involve your legs - strength and core exercise helps activate muscle toning which accelerates fat burning in the medium to long-term. Consider the following possible options and integrate what works for you:

1. Non-impact exercise like – swimming, upright bike, Arm XT machine, Rowing machine, X-trainer (you may need to try this one as some people don’t suffer and some do – differs with individuals and degree of foot issue).

2. Any upper body and/or core strength work which you could do in a circuit-style fashion with minimal rest which will provide the same cardiovascular benefits as walking/jogging and maximise calorie burning. Have a look at the articles on the resources page of the website and you will find some ‘Kelly’s Home Exercise Articles’ which describe in detail (with pictures) how to target all of the different body parts. Apart from the leg exercises you would be able to perform all the others and you can do them from the comfort of your own home or at a gym if you go to one.

3. Seated-based exercise - the power of the Internet opens up a whole new world of chair-based workouts that can be found by searching for 'chair-based exercise' on YouTube. Just choose different workout clips and find the ones that you enjoy and that are appropriate for your requirements.

4. Although not classed as exercise, activities like housework, gardening, DIY – (anything where you are moving basically!) burns calories so doing more of these activities, or trying to do them with a hint of hast will add to the daily calorie burning figure.

With relation to your plantar fasciitis specifically, I would encourage you on a daily basis to be doing deep massage into the sole of your foot with your thumbs to break down the muscle tension, possible trigger points and re-align micro-tears.

The calf muscle (your lower leg) is also often a major player in the cause of plantar fasciitis so getting deep sorts massage for your calf will help manage the pain and treat the cause so you can deal with the condition and get back to having weight-bearing as an option. If it’s available to you then get someone else (a sports therapist, partner, friend) to do it for you just make sure its happening daily!

You can also provide a similar effect into the plantaris muscle (the source of plantar fasciitis) by rolling your foot (ball of foot, across arch to the heel) back and forth with a tennis ball as this helps to lengthen the stressed tissue.

I hope this helps.

Kelly :)

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