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Foot Issues & Exercise
Pain in the arch, heel, or ball of the foot, can be signs of a serious condition and should be examined first by a doctor before beginning exercise. For many foot conditions, such as Sesamoiditis, Metatarsalgia, and Plantar Fasciitis, a good workout can still be accomplished, and greatly improve foot pain, while increasing flexibility in the feet and ankles. There are several different styles in fact, on how to exercise when you have foot pain.
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Exercising Without Impact
First, consider all the types of exercise you can do that don't involve the feet directly, or that have no impact on them whatsoever. Going for a swim is a totally non-impact way to exercise. Pilates is an option which has several exercises done without pressure to the feet. This involves working the core and larger muscles, and have many mat exercises which are done on the floor in a seated or lying position.
There are also a variety of bodyweight exercises that do not involve the use of feet, such as, pull ups, abdominal crunches, bench dips with your legs up on a surface. Push ups on your knees can be done, or to add a challenge, try placing your legs on a stability ball.
Resistance training with handheld weights are also a great option. Any upper body exercise can be accomplished in a seated or lying position as well. Many of these include: bench presses, chest flyes, seated military press, and lying side arm raises.
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Exercising the Feet
Of course, if you would like to exercise more conventionally, and rehabilitate your foot from pain, there is an alternative. By doing exercise specifically for the feet, you can strengthen and increase flexibility, which will ultimately result in healthier feet. One example is the seated towel stretch. Begin seated with legs straight out in front of you, then take a towel or resistance band and place under foot. Holding the two ends of the towel or band, gently pull until you feel a light stretch. Other simple foot exercises include: toe raises, heel raises, seated point and flex, and rolling your feet over a golf ball size ball. Many of these will strengthen and offer relief from foot pain as well.
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Preventing Further Foot Pain
If you are going to do any type of sports related exercise, such as basketball, running, tennis, etc., it is vital to wear the appropriate shoe that is designed for each sport. Have your feet measured by a professional who knows how to fit you with the right shoes, and consider inserts if necessary. Warming up before and stretching after athletic sports are also recommended to prevent further injury. These are just a few helpful ways to help you learn how to exercise when you have foot pain, and still get a great workout, while eliminating your foot pain.