If you’ve ever broken your leg, you’ll know it requires a long recovery period and weeks off your feet.
Staying active isn’t easy if you can’t put weight on your legs, but you can still keep fit and toned with the right exercises.
Cardio, flexibility exercises, and strength training can help you stay strong and maintain muscle power.
Follow your doctor’s advice, but keep open to the possibility of staying active.
Tips for exercising during your recovery period
Take it easy at the start, and always get your doctor’s advice before starting on a new exercise plan. It can be tempting to do too much, especially if you’ve always been active. It’s best to ease into exercise to avoid the risk of further injury. The last thing you want is to prolong your recovery period.
Check in with your physio before you introduce new movements to your workout. If you can, it’s also a good idea to work out with a friend so you have someone looking out for you.
As long as you do it safely and in accordance with your doctor’s advice, following an exercise program can keep you motivated and occupied as you recover. It can also boost your mood and help you sleep better. And as you get closer to full recovery, your doctor might encourage you to start bearing more weight on your legs. Having exercised throughout your recovery, you’ll find it easier to get back into a regular fitness routine once your leg is ready too.
5 exercises you can do with a broken leg
Here are a few easy exercises to work out your top half without putting strain on your leg.
- Arm workouts at your desk
Fitness instructor Alyssa Nimedez shows you how you can work out your arms while seated at a desk in this video.
Start with relaxing your shoulders. Stretch out your arm and fold it behind your head. Grab your elbow and push as far as you can before releasing and relaxing with some light swings. Repeat for the other side.
Work out your biceps by using arm weights with your elbows pinned to your sides and doing 10 gentle reps. Use the same weights to work out your shoulders by lifting your arms next to your head and pushing up to straighten them.
Do full arm lifts and swings with heavier weights to work out your biceps. Use the heavier weights to do 10 triceps above your head. Relax and repeat the first shoulder and arm stretch to wind down.
- Lower ab crunches
Ab crunches are great for keeping your tummy toned when you can’t do sit-ups. Body coach Linda Melone demonstrates easy lower ab crunches in this video.
Start by sitting down in a sturdy chair. Exhale and lift up one knee while focusing on your abs. Do 15 reps for one leg, and then the other.
A variation on this involves putting your hands by your head and bringing the opposite elbow forward to touch the knee as you complete the crunch. Challenge yourself further by doing a double-legged crunch and bringing both legs up and down at the same time.
- Straight crunches with legs raised
Another way to keep your abs strong is to do straight crunches with the legs raised.
Place the back of your calves on a chair while lying on your back. Put your hands behind your head and bring your head towards your legs to do a crunch.
- Five-minute seated ab and arm workout
Fitness guru KimNonStop shows how to work out your arms and abs while seated.
Repeat each movement for 30 seconds. Start by raising both arms over your head and rotating your torso to one side. Then bring your arms down and back up before rotating to the other side.
Raise your arms straight above you head again and do elbow pins, one arm at a time, by bringing your elbows to your hips. It’s okay to bend you head while you do this. KimNonStop also demonstrates the rowboat, pull-punches, arm presses, and other great moves for the abs and arms.
- Yoga at your desk
Use yoga stretches to stay flexible and relaxed during your recovery period.
Start by sitting near the front of your chair with your spine straight and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands on your knees, close your eyes, and take three deep breaths to let go.
Inhale, stretch out your arms, and raise your hands to clasp them together above your head. Exhale and tip to your right, then inhale as you rise back and exhale as you tip to your left. The video continues with a series of movements to gently stretch your abs and upper body, with guidance on how to breathe correctly for maximum relaxation.
Exercising as your heal from a broken leg could support a smoother recovery by boosting your mood. As long as you follow your doctor’s advice and avoid putting weight on your leg, you can still stay active and fit as you get better.
Disclaimer: The Herron blog is interested in general community wellbeing and information, and does not imply that Herron products should be used for serious ailments without the advice or recommendation from your healthcare practitioner.All information presented on the Herron website is meant for general knowledge and never meant as a diagnosis of prescription. Please always contact your doctor for health related matters.