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Staying positive and fit following an Injury


Hi, All.  I am 67, soon to be 68 in November.   Enjoying retirement from the corporate world (retired 2021) - and the fact that FINALLY I can fit more fitness into my life.  Last week, I actually sprained my ankle in a fitness class (multiple exercises - all level).  I do modify where I can - however I pushed myself too much and re-injured my ankle (three years ago the same ankle was fractured).  Right now I am still going into the gym - warming up with a little seated bike (no treadmill), and upper body machines.......trying best I can to stay has been a week and the ankle still feels pretty much the same.  I have it wrapped in a support sleeve.  Any advice?  Debbie J



Hey Debbie, I'm just a little younger than you, and I'm a personal trainer/group fitness instructor.  As much as it stinks, it takes longer to heal an injury like this as we age.  I tell my clients, who are all over 55, that they need to give injuries like this a solid 2 weeks of rest.  Even a bike is working the ankle and isn't really resting it.  


When I broke my foot, I used a rower for cardio.  I only put the non-injured foot on the footplate and left the injured foot resting on the floor.  It was a surprisingly hard workout!  Also, the battle ropes are your friend if you have access to them.   Hope it heals soon and you can get back to your regular routine!

KCassidy - Thank you very much for your guidance (and understanding - seeing that you had a foot injury).   I will definitely try the rower instead for cardio - same way you suggest - with the non-injured foot on the footplate. I will do the rower for cardio this week and see how that goes.  Appreciate the help!  


Hi Debbie,

Good for you Debbie, making your fitness a priority! Sorry to hear about your injury, being injured stinks.  Awesome to hear that you are still going to the gym and getting some work in on the upper body. If you don't have pain doing the things you are doing, then I would keep it. If you are having pain doing these activities, then you may want to consider getting your ankle evaluated by a medical professional. Based on what is recommended, perhaps working with a PT or qualified Personal Trainer (someone with Corrective Exercise Experience) to work on strengthening your ankles/foot and all those muscles up the kinetic chain.  Maybe your knees rotate a bit internally, so you may be putting more pressure on the inner ankle then needed, this would be indicative of weaker glutes and/or arches in your foot or maybe your balance isn't what it used to be, so doing specific exercises to focus on your stabilizer muscles may help to prevent issues in the future. 

Based on all of this, there are quite a few exercises you can do for your lower body and core that don't require loading your ankle.  Side clam shells with a block in between your shins or knees, test a glute bridge or straight leg bridge with the back on your calfs on a bosu or elevated surface, deadbug for your core, lying straight leg raises to strengthen your hip flexors and work on pelvic stability (aka core). There are a lot of options out there to get your stronger, well balanced so you can continue on your fitness journey and be stronger, healthier and fitter from it! 

Good luck!  

Thanks, NicolB!  I will try the exercises you have listed.  Isn't always just when we feel like we are making progress, getting stronger when something like this happens?  Geez.  I do NOT want to give up in my fitness, that's for sure!  Will employ as many work-arounds that I can come up with so I can keep the other body parts improving in the meanwhile.  Appreciate your help!


Hi Debbie!  Hoping your ankle is on the mend.  I know how difcicult an injury can me especially if you and just getting into a groove.  Not sure if your gym has a pool but if so swimming is a great low impact overallbodyworkout.  Also mat pilates will help you to stay strong and really work the low pelvic floor which we all need especially as we age. Wishing you continued success on your journey!

Thanks, Margeaux.   Unfortunately, ankles are a very slow mend....I am continuing to stay off the treadmill, using recumbent bike a bit - and focusing on upper body machines and weights at this time.  I will DEFINITELY incorporate your suggestion of mat pilates; having not been doing that as of late.  Appreciate your reply!