Injury Update: Biking, Swimming and Walking

The last three weeks of exercise have been really interesting for me.

I'm someone who absolutely loves to run. Running has become something that defines me to an extent. Not being able to run, although mentally difficult, has been a good reminder for me that there are other kinds of exercise out there that I enjoy. Using these alternatives have helped me feel like "me" again, something I struggled with the first two weeks after my injury when I wasn't allowed to do any types of exercises that involved my legs.

One approved form of exercise that I can do while I heal from my stress fracture is riding the stationary bike. It is been roughly 10 years since I have regularly ridden an exercise bike and I must say that it has been more enjoyable than I remember. It's been great to catch up on Netflix! When I last rode the exercise bike 10 years ago it was when I was a little obsessed with working out, as my wedding day was soon approaching. I remember that I had a very outdated stationary bike in the back room of an apartment I was living in and I rode that thing every single day. It was really uncomfortable to sit on and the pedometer on the bike was broken. When we moved, I put it in the dumpster.

The exercise bikes at the gym that I have been riding are much different. They track my resistance, my pace, my distance and many other elements of bike riding that I am unfamiliar with. I can also plug my headphones into them and watch television screens or listen to the radio. Definitely an improvement from my previous experience.

I've also spent a little more time working on my core. Although I haven't done this as much as I wanted too, I've been trying. Tummy work has been my primary focus and I've been sore from it it, which feels great. It feels so good to have sore muscles and reminds me of how awesome I felt after the boot camp classes I used to take. I know, I'm a nerd. But I love when I feel sore after a workout.

Another activity that I've been able to do, although only a little bit right now, is slooooow walking. Walking is something that I used to love to do prior to my becoming a runner. Although I cannot walk very fast right now, nor can I use any incline at all, I have enjoyed walking outside on warmer days. The treadmill hasn't been too bad either surprisingly; when I run, I always seem to despise the dreadmill. I still have to wear my Air-cast or an ace wrap when I walk or I feel discomfort, but it has been something I've been trying to incorporate into my exercise right now.

A final form of exercise that I've heard a lot about since I've been recovering from my stress fracture is swimming. I haven't been able to do aqua running since my gym doesn't have a pool, but this past weekend I did take two of my children to our local parks and rec center to swim. Neither of the two children I brought with me can swim so I spent a lot of time carrying them and running with them in the water. They are solid 4 and 6 year old kids so it wasn't a light load. That was two days ago and I cannot believe how sore my quads, hips and thighs are from the resistance of the water.  I was constantly moving in the pool for an hour and 20 minutes and it was one of the hardest workouts I've done in a very long time. It felt wonderful!

So although hopefully I will be able to start running again soon, maybe even this weekend, I have been happy to try some different types of exercises that I had forgotten about. I hope that I continue to incorporate some of these activities in my exercise regimen in the future.

If nothing else, I definitely have a new found respect for my triathlete friends!

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