Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Includes Expert Content
Any cardio with a foot injury?
CJaneCJaneRun posted:
Please help!

I'm an avid runner (three to four times a week, between 2 and 6 miles per run), but I recently started experiencing pain in my left foot. I'm presently seeing a doctor to figure out what the problem is: an X-ray yesterday ruled out a stress fracture, but I'm scheduled to have an MRI to see if there's bruising, a bone marrow edema, etc. But in the meantime I can't run, walk for extended periods of time, or climb too many stairs because of the pain...and I'm going a little bit stir-crazy as a result. I MISS RUNNING!

I've been trying to do pilates (because it's good for me -- strengthens my core and puts no stress on my foot), but I don't feel like it gets my heart rate up for long enough periods of time, and it's soooo boring to have to count out reps. I realize swimming would be a viable aerobic alternative, but I live in a big city and can't afford a membership to a public pool.

Would using a stationary bike be safe for my foot? Are there ANY other aerobic activities I can be doing that will avoid additional damage to the foot, but still keep me in shape until I can run again?
DeadManWalking56 responded:
It depends on what hurts your foot.

I broke my wrist some years ago, and could not do cardio. My hand swelled in the cast.

Depending if the pain is the entire foot, or forefoot or heel, you may be able to do some other exercises. But you are going to lose some fitness. Not quickly, maybe 2-4% a week.

Do try an exercise bike or rowing machine if available. Even somethings one legged will help, since there is some mimicry and fitness transfer to the less used limb.

You might also try stretch bands, or chair squats.
jusim81 responded:
Just a tip. My gym has a machine where the pedals to use with your arms to imitate those bikes that people pedal with their arms. I don't if your gym has one but this could be an option for you.
CJaneCJaneRun responded:
Thanks for the advice, all.

Actually, the pain is in the top front part of the left foot, around the third metatarsal. I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow, so hopefully the Dr. will get a better idea of what's going on in there (and how long it'll take to heal).

I took the advice and acquired a stationary bike -- it STILL isn't as high-intensity a workout as running, but I can use it without hurting the foot. And if I increase the amount of time I spend on it and intersperse it with some light weight training and pilates, I hopefully won't lose too much strength or stamina by the time my foot is back to 100%.

Thanks again!
DeadManWalking56 replied to CJaneCJaneRun's response:

Retraining is not so bad. Many people train too much, and not enough easy days along with the hard days are not hard enough. The first week is not a loss, since you will fully recover from your previous workouts, and end up ahead. The 2nd week, and thereafter you can lose some strength, but at 2-3% a week, you won't lose much. You'll find out where you are, get going, and enjoy watching the improvement.

You injury sounds similar to a sprained arch across the foot my daughter had.

Don't stress, get healed, and then train smart.

Blake Boggess, DO replied to DeadManWalking56's response:
I agree with the cross training. It may take longer with the stationary bike to get the same cardiovascular workout that you get with your running. You may want to ask your physician to evaluate your gait as you run.

Helpful Tips

Hydration and the HeatExpert
Keep in mind with the warmer weather upon us, that our bodies will take some time to adapt to the temperature changes. Our bodies adapt ... More
Was this Helpful?
26 of 36 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Sports Medicine Center