Cardio Exercise With Sprained Ankle

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    What kind of cardio can I do with a sprained ankle?
    I sprained my ankle a little today while running. I went to the gym afterward because I felt like i couldn't keep running. I did the elliptical and the stationary bike. I want to go to the gym again tomorrow but I don't know if it would be worse for my ankle if I exercised on it some more. Is it okay if I ride the stationary bike or use the elliptical machine or is there another other cardio exercise I can do?

    • ANSWER:
      you need to rest the ankle..you will have your injury much longer if you do not.

      Do not put pressure on the ankle..ie as in on the bike

      Just lay off the cardio for abit and let yourself heal

  2. QUESTION:
    What cardio exercise is best with a recovering ankle sprain?
    I sprained my ankle over a month ago and have not been to the gym since. I can walk about on it fine but still feel stiffness in the morning and only slight aching at times. I'm aware that running is certainly not suitable at all but wondered if using a bike in the gym would be best. Any exercises which would help or that I shouldn't do would be great to know as I'm dying to get back to the gym again!!! Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Try a bike for 10 min. Then ice ankle for 10 min.
      See how you feel, if it's okay, increase by 5 min. at a time.

      Use Aleve or Advil to reduce aching.

      Also, you can do ankle exercises: Rotate both ankles in a clockwise direction 30X.
      Rotate both ankles counterclockwise 30X.
      Push toes down as far as possible, alternate with pulling toes up to your leg as much as possible..30X.

      These will stretch & strengthen your ankle.

      Feel better.

  3. QUESTION:
    How can I burn calories with a sprained ankle?
    I was just three weeks into running and lifting daily in an effort to lose weight and get ripped once again :-) when I sprained my ankle (the accident was unrelated to exercise). Now I'm completely thrown off schedule and with my torn ligaments it's a 10 week recovery. Are there cardio' exercises I can do with a sprained ankle? I want to keep the calories burning.

    BTW I can walk slowly with an air-cast

    • ANSWER:
      I feel your pain. Had an ankle reconstruct a few weeks ago.

      Best way to burn calories whether injured or not is through weight training. Many studies show that it is a far more effective calorie burner than simple cardio as you keep burning calories after the event and the extra muscle does so as well.

      If you are female you don't need to worry about putting on too much bulk as your hormones don't allow for it. So get on the weights. Enjoy the break from running and tone those muscles.

  4. QUESTION:
    How to heal my sprained ankle and still continue with my exercises?
    I sprained my left ankle about a week ago. It is swollen on the inside and bruised a little. It is sore to touch. I am still exercising regularly, just modifying the cardio moves so that there is not so much strain on my ankle. I have been exercising to Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred. I have been doing 2 levels which equals 40 minutes of exercise a day. I am wondering if there is some other exercises i should do, such as pilates or yoga. Please let me know.

    • ANSWER:
      Stop exercising, you're just causing more damage in the long run.

      You need to use R.I.C.E, the treatment talked about above.

      Typically a sprain can take anywhere from 2 - 6 weeks to heal properly depending on the grade of sprain, and if you carry on exercising during those weeks, you may still feel the repercussions for years to come. I know I do.

      Give your ankle time to heal.

      Find a good ankle brace, do NOT use a tubigrip, they're useless and provide no support, some doctors will even advise against them.

      Rehabilitation is key if you ever want your ankle to be as strong as it was before, google ankle sprain rehabilitation, there are loads of good video's out there for it that will really help.

      STOP EXERCISING AND GIVE YOUR ANKLE TIME TO HEAL.

  5. QUESTION:
    What are some exercises I can do for my legs (thighs & butt) with a sprained ankle?
    I sprained my ankle a little over a week ago. Doc said there's some torn ligaments, and I have to wear a brace. I have an extremely high pain tolerance so I am not in pain, just a little sore (mostly, my knee is sore from walking funny with the stupid brace!) I know I can do ball bridges and seated machines, as well as kneeling cable exercises for my butt, etc. Any other ideas? Also, I've been doing the stationary bike for cardio. Is this bad? How long until it's safe to move on to an elliptical machine, etc.? I have to wear the brace for a month.

    • ANSWER:
      i think ridding a bike is the best exercise.

  6. QUESTION:
    Sprained ankle ….cant wait to go back to the gym .?

    I have sprained my ankle on a flat road with flat shoes …cant believe I did it . it was last Monday and since then I am not going to gym .

    I plan to start this week as the swelling is now gone . the ankle is little black blue is color . but its not paining while I walk .

    What sort of cardio exercise I can do ?. I know running wont happen for at least next 2 weeks .

    I need to lose weight because I have big wedding to attend in 1st week of October .

    • ANSWER:
      Ankle sprain recovery takes a while . Do low impact exercises. you can do some ankle strengthen exercises too

      http://www.mckinley.uiuc.edu/Handouts/anklesprain/anklesprain.html

  7. QUESTION:
    What sorts of exercise (cardio) can I get...?
    I sprained my ankle a couple weeks ago and was almost done with physical therapy, but last week I sprained it again. I'm in an air cast as of right now, and I can walk, but I really want to get some exercise done. What can I do?

    And obviously, I can't run b/c of my ankle.

    Any suggestions are appreciated!

    • ANSWER:
      Do you have access to a gym? You can probably do the rowing machnine. Maybe the elliptical since you can do that pretty low impact without moving the ankles around a lot.

      However you're better off just doing some free weights with your arms. You do enough of that and you will feel your heart rate up.

  8. QUESTION:
    What kind of exercise can I do with a high ankle sprain?
    I am a bit overweight, I have been excersising (Cardio) to drop some pounds, it seems to be working as people have told me I look thinner. Recently I suffered a high ankle sprain playing basketball and will not be able to do any running or sports for a while (6-26) weeks. Is there any cardio I can do to help continue to manage my weight? Or any routines anyone can suggest to shed the pounds?

    • ANSWER:
      There’s no cardio exercise really worth the while on land. No legs, no cardio.

      You could try swimming free style though. Free style doesn’t use much of the legs in the first place.

      Just be sure to keep your sprained ankle tightly wrapped to prevent it from wobbling too much as you swim without paddling your legs. As an added insurance, grip a float board (something flat) between your calves to keep both legs straight.

      If you’ve never swum free style like this before, it’ll leave you panting and your heart pounding ----- that’s cardio for you. That’s how competitive swimmers train..

  9. QUESTION:
    Exercise with bad ankle?
    I sprained my ankle about a month ago. It was a terrible sprain. I'm in Physical therapy now. I have gained about 6 pounds nursing this ankle (and eating while I did it). I want to get back into some exercise. The physical therapist says to do the stationary bike. I find that so boring. What else can I do with this ankle that will give me some cardio. I'm used to going "hard" with my cardio (spin classes, running). This is so frustrating. Any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      Try your favorite music while cycling or, if at home, pop in a movie while on the cycle.

      Swimming won't work your legs? Someone never heard of kicking! Anyway, swimming is usually something I also advise to my patients. But be sure to discuss with YOUR PT.

      Exercise can be fun, but this may be a time you do it out of necessity rather than fun...once on the mend, think of all the things you can return to doing.

      Good luck

  10. QUESTION:
    Tips for losing weight with a sprained ankle.. help!
    I've got about 2 months to drop 15-20 lbs. to fit into a bridesmaid dress (long story..). I've been eating well, drinking lots of water, and doing cardio 3-4 times a week. But recently, I sprained my ankle pretty bad and will probably be off of it for about 2 weeks. What kind of exercise can I do that will still cause me to break a sweat and get my heart going?

    I especially need to lose belly fat, so if anyone has any general tips on how to target this specific spot (or just healthy, SAFE ways to cut fat quickly in general), that would be great too. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      try pilates or yoga. they are bost very low impact, and you can search for exercises that don't require pressure on the feet - pilates is core-focused so you should see results where you said you have the most problems. as for getting your heart rate up (cardio), this is difficult.. maybe try swimming? im not sure if that will hurt your ankle. i suggest you eat a less now because you will not be exercising as much. but make sure you don't eat less than 1200 calories.

  11. QUESTION:
    Fat but can't exercise...please help with tips?
    I really need to lose 20 pounds by fall, but I have a sprained ankle so I can't exercise for four weeks at all. I weigh 176 and want to be 150 but the end of summer...any tips how I can lose it without any cardio?
    stop with the spam, please, I said I can't exercise. wtf..

    • ANSWER:
      I don't think ms kinesha got the point.

      Definitely start eating healthy. I'm not saying eat salad and fruits morning day and night. fat, sugar, and salt is essential to your diet, but try to eat as little as possible. Drink a lot of water.

      Since you can't jog or use your leg in any way, id suggest working with dumbbells while sitting down. It's probably the best way. Just learn some basic dumbbell exercises, working with weights burns fat.

      Sit ups are another great way. They don't require your legs to do them, and work well. If you can, you should swim. It as well wont put pressure on your ankles, and works really great.

      The sauna is the last one i can think of that wouldn't involve your ankle to be used to lose (some) weight.

      If you stay really dedicated, you can still lose the weight you want with these exercises. Best of luck.

  12. QUESTION:
    Is it possible to lose weight with an ankle injury?
    I'm 19 and I've had a sprained ankle for 10 weeks and it's not healing even though I'm getting treatment.

    Now I'm afraid it wont heal like the stories I hear from people about their ankle giving them problems for years.

    I'm not that overweight but I'm at the point where if I don't exercise I WILL get really unfit and much much fatter, and weightlifting isn't enough, I REALLY REALLY need to do some cardio.

    I'm good enough to walk for short periods of time but eventually it starts to swell up. I'm thinking of using the rowing machine or cycling machine, but I don't know if I should. If I don't exercise soon it will really mess up my mental state as well, I've had enough.

    • ANSWER:
      Try: Swimming (if you have access to a pool), Elliptical, stationary bike, sit ups (cross your bad ankle over your good one), crunches (do them on a stability ball for variety), bicycle with your legs while on your back, get a resistance band there are plenty of exercises you can do with one, jump rope with one foot, try yoga or pilates--they have a lot of 10minute exercise dvds out there.

      Not all of these are cardio, but they will help you tone, gain strength, and keep you moving.

      Just make sure you stop if it hurts and take care of your ankle; if you don't you could be in for a lot of problems. Trust me I know from experience

  13. QUESTION:
    Cardio with bad ankles?
    I haven't gone jogging in a while, so over spring break, I decided to jog around a 4.5 mile lake everyday. I did it for four days, and at the end of the fourth day, and both of my ankles got mildly sprained. I can still walk, I just limp a little and it kind of hurts to rotate my ankles.

    Now, it's been two days after that and I feel so lazy since I haven't been getting any cardio done. Any advice on getting a good cardio workout, though I cannot jog?

    (I don't think speedwalking will work out for me either..)

    P.S.: I do realize it's a better idea to just let it rest, but I really really want to get some calories burned or it's going to be really hard for me to get back into wanting to exercise.
    I don't know how to swim.

    • ANSWER:
      You don't need to know how to swim to do water aerobics. You wear a flotation belt and use a floating "noodle" as well. Your head never goes into the water. Water aerobics in deep water are zero impact and in shallow water (waist deep) are low impact.
      I do 4 hours a week of specialized water aerobics in 7 feet of water and I can't swim at all.

  14. QUESTION:
    I need some good exercises for the rest of my body while my ankle recovers from a nasty sprain.?
    I've been doing cardio for weeks now, but with this awful sprain, I have to keep off of my feet for quite some time... I'm starting to panic because I can almost feel the weight I've lost climbing back on my body... is there anyone out there with some good sedentary exercises I can do while I have to stay off my feet for the next month?

    • ANSWER:
      I am so sorry to hear about your injury..Depending on your prior work out habits etc. your age? and your living situation? but the best work out to burn calories, obtain elevated heart rates, every two hours try to achieve an orgasm. Oh drink lots of water and stay on your diet

  15. QUESTION:
    exercising with a fractured ankle?
    3 weeks ago, i hurt my ankle, and i was told it was a sprain. i went back to the orthopedist cause my doctor said it "looked wrong", and just yesterday, they discovered i had actually cracked my growth plate. from being out of cheerleading (yes, it is a workout. competitive cheerleading 6 days a week to nothing will not do you any good), i have gained some weight. needless to say. i am now walking on it, but there is a cast, so i can't bend. it does not hurt to walk anymore.

    i need exercises to do with this on that will somehow be/use cardio (not sure which word was right). i can't sleep unless i exercise, because my body produces too much energy. i don't want wimpy exercises like walk down the street and back, or 20 crunches or something. i need a real workout. what can i do?
    no i can't go in water : ( unless i wanted to wear a trash bag around my ankle everytime i went inn...plus after these 3 weeks it's no longer "bathing suit season", haha.
    i know my limits. my doctor knows i can walk on it. it was almost compeltely healed, she just wanted to make sure it aligned perfectly. she told me i was fine on it. please stop advising me not to excercise. not to sound rude, but i don't need to know that i should ask my doctor, because i already did.

    • ANSWER:
      Sometimes you can get a cardio workout buy going to a gym and doing the weight machines but not taking a long break in between. At least you will be still strengthening your muscles. Do lighter weight and more reps with out much of a break and you will start a sweat, I know it is not the same but it is better than doing nothing. If you do not have a membership maybe you can get a trial membership. Good Luck:)

  16. QUESTION:
    Questions - Ankle Arthroscopy?
    I'm 19 and suffered an avulsion fracture in early 2007 that tore part of my medial malleolus (distal tibia) off and did significant ligament damage after an extreme eversion accident; this is on top of two previous grade 3 sprains on the lateral aspect of the same ankle in the 3 years preceding. I saw an orthopedic surgeon at the time and the course of management we went with was 6 weeks in a walking weight-bearing cast ('moon boot') with physiotherapy; I was warned it could be 6 months to a year before all the mobility and stability in that ankle was restored. Since then I have been patient with the ankle despite the fact it is often stiff and sometimes quite sore, and looks permanently swollen. However, about 4 weeks ago I started a new exercise program (about 3 hours of training a day, comprising a mixture of walking/jogging, step & aerobic classes, spin classes and cardio circuit work). The ankle held up well for about 2 weeks and then became gradually more and more painful; despite RICEing after every workout session the pain did not subside, but steadily got worse. I had a CT scan of the ankle done last week at my GP's office which showed non-union of the fracture, and several loose bone fragments in the joint; the scan also showed significant joint effusion. I am scheduled to see my orthopedic surgeon next week to discuss arthroscopy to remove the bone fragments and examine the ligaments, which my GP said was probably the only option to fix the ankle.

    I have some questions about the arthroscopy - can anyone whose had one (not just on the ankle but anywhere) tell me what their experience was like in terms of the actual procedure, recovery time, success of the operation, current state of the joint after surgery, etc?

    Cheers!!

    • ANSWER:
      usually good results with just a few weeks recovery

  17. QUESTION:
    Is there any way that I can have a good cardio work out without running?
    I sprained my ankle in the military and am supposed to go through more physical therapy sessions for it. However, since I've been discharged, I no longer am covered by insurance so my ankle has not healed completely. Now I'm stuck at home, gaining weight like a pig, and I can't seem to lose it since I can't run anymore. What other exercises/workouts can I do with my bad ankle, that would work my cardiovascular system? I really want to lose all these extra pounds that I've accumulated after getting out of the military. I want to get back in shape before I reenlist. May you please help me? I'd greatly appreciate your time and input.

    • ANSWER:

  18. QUESTION:
    I need to get back to my exercise routine, but I'm injured. Any ideas?
    I typically exercise quite a bit; however, I have slacked off at the gym and with my eating habits recently because I just bought a house and have been really busy getting everything together. I want to get back on track, but I injured myself quite a bit more than I would have liked playing football this season (probably in part because I am in not as great shape as I usually am and also because 4-6 games in 7 hours is pushing it) and I don't want to do anything to aggravate those injuries or do further damage. My typical day at the gym involves at least 30 minutes or 4 miles of cardio either on a track or the elliptical and a vigorous weight training session split into 3 sections that rotate: legs, biceps/chest/abs and back/triceps. Right now my most prominent injuries are a sprained (I hope) left elbow that can not be twisted without severe pain and refuses to fully extend as well as a right calf and ankle that hurts to put weight on. I am also having intermittent trouble with my left knee. All of these injuries are getting evaluated by a doctor early next week, as I have given them ample time to heal and they are not showing improvement. Regardless of what my doctor says, I refuse to entirely stall my exercise routine any longer. I just don't feel healthy or happy when I am not physically active. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can modify my routine to be low impact, but still have the weight training and cardio benefits? Keep in mind that my elbow makes it difficult for me to swim. Also, I am not looking for something that would be equal to my normal routine, just something that will keep me from losing all of my tone and also keep my metabolism up.
    I plan on asking my doctor as well, but she has been less than helpful in the past. My roommate used to be a personal trainer and when I asked him, his reaction was that I should be sitting around watching TV and not moving. I'm not sure if he is saying that because it's true or because he's acting like an over-protective big brother (which he does pretty frequently).

    • ANSWER:
      You've waited this long,so no need to risk any more damage! Wait for the Doc's evaluation. If you have access to a pool you don't have to swim. Just walk the length or width of the pool for 15-30 minutes. This will keep the joints moving and the blood pumping with minimum impact. And the increased blood flow will ultimately speed up the healing process!

  19. QUESTION:
    Can swimming increase your body fat % to adapt your body to the cold water?
    Now I've heard this theory around a lot, but never with sufficient scientific evidence to either corroborate it or disprove it.
    I'm 20, 6 feet tall, 150 lbs and in very good shape (<10% body fat, exercise every day), and I just had to modify my diet to suit my needs (I was eating 2000 calories a day and burning 3000, so I was losing way too much weight. Now i'm eating 3000 calories, 200 grams of protein and 6 meals a day. Lifting weights every morning, swimming every evening). Since I sprained my ankle, for another month my only cardio option is swimming.
    Is it possible that it will increase my body fat % to adapt my body to the water? It is true that I have less fat than most swimmers (since muscle is more dense than water, if you don't have a bit more fat you float less and it's harder to swim).
    Thanks for your answers!

    • ANSWER:
      No. Wherever you heard this theory, it isn't true.

      The water you swim laps in isn't cold enough for this the possibly happen.

      Good luck with your swimming.

  20. QUESTION:
    My Life Depends on This: Questions about my HEALTH?
    Hi, I am a 16 year old guy and I have some questions about my health? There are certain things in my life that I know is bad for my health. To make it easier, I'll bullet point it.

    - Eating habits? I believe I'm a somewhat unhealthy person. But I want you to decide. On a weekly basis, I tend to eat an average of freezer package meals such as farmer john chicken strips or trader joes orange chicken around 2 times a week,"regular" meals such as pork and soup around 3 times a week, and fast food such as McDonalds around 2 times a week. On top of that, I eat a moderate amount of chips, ice cream, or some sort of snack mostly everyday. But to cover up for it, I exercise everyday. I have 1 hour of gym and 1 hour of skateboarding+ walking on the weekdays, and on the weekends I usually skateboard an average of 4 hours or so. An most of the exercise done is intense workouts (sweating, cardio).

    - Allergies? I have lifelong, year-round allergies to pollen and dust. Most of my allergies are most intense during spring, winter, summer, and then fall. My allergies interrupt my daily life more than anything I can think of. Most days, I do make it through without thinking about my allergies. But the 24% of days, I'm limited to doing my daily business such as studying or exercising because of my allergies. The last 1%, I'm prohibited to doing anything. All I can do sit at home, only thinking about my allergies. I cant concentrate or think normally, I have a huge headache, body ache, I could barely open my eyes and feel my face, and my nose generates mucus every 5 minutes causing me to use at least 50 tissues all in one day. It's a horrible feeling. All I can try to do about my allergies is take allergy medicine daily, but yet it doesn't seem to ever work and I wonder if taking medication everyday may be harmful to me. Do you have any solutions for my allergies? How can I overcome them?

    - Back Problems? When I am sitting at my desk, I have a strange habit of sitting on my chair with my body winded to the right with my head looking left to my desk or computer. Will this cause back problems in the future and if so, how can I stop this habit?

    -Ankle problems? I am a skateboarder and I've rolled/sprained my ankle about 3 months ago. I never seeked treatment because it actually wasn't all that bad and it seemed to be ok within a month. The upcoming months up this day, I suddenly start feeling pain in my ankle if I move it a certain way mainly when walking up the stairs. Skateboarding has been a stressful sport for me because now I have this paranoia of hurting my ankle so I don't skate as well as I used to. Recently I've started using an ankle brace while skateboarding to cover up for it and it seems to help tons. Will my ankle ever heal? I can't quit skateboarding but I just hope my ankle heals really soon because it's been disrupting my daily life.

    There have been many other flaws in my health in my past but I figured how to overcome them and fix them up. So, I hope to do the same for these because I really don't want to quit life here just because of some dumb flaws in my health. I really appreciate you reading my questions in regard to my health and I depend on you to offer my any tips and solutions. My life really does depend on this. Thanks!
    thanks for specifying a specialist doctor

    • ANSWER:
      You are a smart guy ; and you already know all the answers to all your questions . NO ; you are not eating healthy ; and no you are not sitting properly at your desk

  21. QUESTION:
    I would like to start a diet/exercise plan . . .?
    I just got off crutches a couple days ago because I had a fifth - degree sprain from soccer. Anyway, I've been 13 years old and 40 lbs. overweight and so I think that now would be a good time to start a diet/exercise plan. For workouts, I was thinking about this one:

    http://www.prevention.com/health/fitness/cardio/turn-your-walk-into-a-run-and-drop-a-size-in-4-weeks/article/1b52700d2a381210VgnVCM10000013281eac____

    because I think that running will be something I can enjoy and do with my dog. But I would have to start way slower, because my ankle still isn't flexible enough to run, so far I can only jog awkwardly and it hurts. And I don't have a diet plan, either. For the most part I eat healthy but I know I don't have enough veggies and I eat too much. I'd want the plan to be something that is easy to prepare, and flexible. So, does anyone know how I would be able to start the exercise plan slower, find a good diet, and keep myself motivated?
    Thanks a lot!!!

    • ANSWER:
      Eat six mini meals a day. Exercise and before every meal, drink two tall glasses of water, (about 16 oz.) this will fill you up and you will automatically eat less. This really works, so be patient. Also you will lose it slower and that will give your skin time to catch up with your wieghtloss especially if you exercise. Good Luck to you

  22. QUESTION:
    From benzo addiction to moderation - possible?
    In March of '08 I kicked an addiction to Ativan. The withdrawal was horrendous, but since that time I've been able to take an occasional Xanax with no problem, so after a hospitalization in June I switched psychiatrists and was prescribed .5mg Xanax t.i.d. This went well for about a month, then PMS coupled with a badly sprained ankle which left me unable to walk(my choice for cardio and transportation in general) left me with severe anxiety that one pill didn't even touch. So, I started taking more, and more. At present I probably take 3.5 to 4mg a day. If I'm not addicted again, I'm certainly on my way. I've tried breathing exercises, Rescue Remedy, and a lavender inhaler, but when the anxiety gets really bad none of these things work.

    Can anyone recommend some safe ways to either taper down or quit, and also some safe ways, other than the ones mentioned above, to ease severe anxiety?

    • ANSWER:
      Is the addition causing any consequenses yet? IF so then work the steps of addition to find the root of the problem being more mental than anything. Try eating more cinnamon in your diet and get a supplemental vitamin reg. Vistirile is great non benzo that will help with the mood. Surely your doctor can prescribe it instead. Check your real motive for taking the med and then try some personal meditation each morning with the breathing.

  23. QUESTION:
    I need some good exercises for the rest of my body while my ankle recovers from a nasty sprain?
    I've been doing cardio for weeks now, but with this awful sprain, I have to keep off of my feet for quite some time... I'm starting to panic because I can almost feel the weight I've lost climbing back on my body... is there anyone out there with some good exercises I can do while I have to stay off my feet for the next month?
    I have to keep off the ankle completely, can't support any weight or use the ankle at all for at least 2 weeks.

    • ANSWER: