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Best Cardio for Plantar Fasciitis

Updated on March 26, 2017

Weight loss with plantar fasciitis and heel pain is difficult, but not hopeless.

Everyone has different levels of pain tolerance. I happen to be one of those people with a high pain tolerance and threshold. So, it took me by surprise that by the time I realized that I was suffering from plantar fasciitis, I had already started to damage the surrounding muscles such as my Achilles tendons and shins. Before I even knew it, a simple ten-minute power walk warm-up was painful. But I was overweight, and I still needed to lose those pounds before the REAL work of weight loss began.

Heel pain doesn’t have to deter you from your weight loss goals. If you’re reading this article, then I can assume that by now, you’ve already done your research and understand that in order for you to effectively lose weight, you must burn 3500 calories to lose a pound, and that by adding cardio and eating healthy you can safely lose two pounds a week. If you’re looking for low-calorie, high protein meal ideas, here’s a great link that will give you a good basis from Healthy Eater.

You’ve also looked up plantar fasciitis, have purchased some insoles and have researched several stretching methods you can do upon waking up, pre-workout and post workout to prevent further injuries.

Here are some high intensity interval cardio exercises (HIIT) you can do if your heel pain is too severe for walking or dance classes. Do these for 4X a week for a minimum of 25-30 minutes in addition to eating healthy and proper stretching:


Elliptical HIIT:

An effective elliptical HIIT workout can have many benefits, including hitting a large set of muscles.
An effective elliptical HIIT workout can have many benefits, including hitting a large set of muscles. | Source

30 Minute Elliptical HIIT Workout

TIME
RESISTANCE
DIRECTION
0-5
3
PEDAL FORWARD
5-7
7
 
7-9
10
 
9-11
12
 
11-13
7
 
13-15
10
 
15-17
13
PEDAL BACKWARD
17-21
7
 
21-23
12
 
23-25
13
 
25-30
7
 
 
 
 

Spinning/ Biking:

Source

2. Spinning Class/ Stationary Bike:

GYM: A spinning class is ideal because you won’t have to worry about setting the intensity to get the most out of the cardio session—the instructor has that planned out for you!

If you don’t make it to the class, set the stationary bike to mountain/hill and try to do the same resistance as above in the elliptical routine.

If you don’t belong to a gym and have a stationary bike at home, use it on MANUAL and watch how fast you break a sweat! This is the most effective because it forces you to use your own body weight to power the bike. If you’re using a home stationary bike, then pedal as fast as you can for three minutes, and then bring it down to a slower pace for 2 minutes. Continue this 3/2 ration for the full 25-30 minutes.

Roller-skating or rollerblading:

Inline skating works an array of muscles including: glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, abductors and adductors.
Inline skating works an array of muscles including: glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, abductors and adductors. | Source

Key Take-Aways

  • Weight loss with plantar fasciitis and heel pain is difficult, but not hopeless.

  • A good High Intensity Interval Training routine is the key to weight effective loss

  • A "clean" diet will improve energy, cognitive abilities, mood levels and overall health.

Roller-skating or rollerblading

Bring back your childhood fun and lose weight by roller-skating! Do a slow and steady warm up for 10 minutes and then increase your intensity/speed non-stop for 20 minutes. Not only will you burn calories, but you will build lower body muscles as well.

For my personal weight loss, I stuck to the elliptical and used the pedals and arms. Even though these cardio routines do not cause further trauma to the heels, be sure you are using your insoles with any workout routine to help reduce swelling and inflammation!! If your level of pain has become so severe that you can barely get up to use the bathroom at night (like mine), then feel free to see the two suggested insoles that have helped alleviate some of the pain associated with heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.

I hope you found this article helpful, and that it inspires you to not give up on your weight loss journey, despite the uncomfortable setback. Let me know how you do!

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