How To Exercise With Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis hurts. It especially hurts in the morning, or a short amount of time after exercise. It can be exacerbated by an increase in running or exercise, and if you have been to see a physician or doctor about the condition, they are likely to have told you to try and stay off your feet for a while.

However, resting will not alleviate the pain from plantar fasciitis, and for many of us, a life without running or a life without regular exercise isn’t worth considering. Thankfully, if you’re careful about stretching, if you choose the right footwear, if you wear inserts, and if you adapt your exercise regimen according to the condition, you can still exercise and stay healthy.

Exercises To Avoid And Those To Enjoy

Once you have plantar fasciitis, you should avoid exercises that physically jar or strike your foot. With that said, we know that a lot of sufferers do still run on their painful feet. They have training schedules that they need to stick to, or they’re simply too dedicated (stubborn?) to stop. If possible, avoid running and adopt swimming. Cycling, water aerobics, using an elliptical machine or even weight lifting are all viable alternatives to running. As we say, anything that doesn’t involve the foot striking against a solid surface.

The Importance Of Good Shoes

Whatever type of exercise you intend to embark on, do make sure that you choose appropriately fitting shoes. Shoes that are too tight will place constant pressure on the plantar fascia, while ill fitting shoes will not offer the support that’s needed. What’s more, if you are wearing shoes that don’t fit properly, then you are prone to suffer from additional injuries and foot complaints. Choosing the right shoe fit not only means getting the right size. If you have broad feet or narrow foot, look for those that have the right toe box shape. Some are designed for slimmer feet, and some for larger, so take advantage of this in order to get the best possible sneakers for your feet.


Ensure that you stretch properly. This is another important point even if you don’t suffer from plantar fasciitis, and a failure to stretch properly could have led to the complaint in the first place. Conduct your usual stretches, but incorporate some plantar stretches and Achilles stretches into the mix as well.

Stand with your back against a doorframe. Hold the edges of the frame and place your heel on the floor with the ball of your foot up against the frame. Slightly bend your knee and press your foot into the frame while you lean forward and press slightly against the frame. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat. Swap to your other leg and perform the same stretch.

Another stretch that will help is the towel pull stretch. Sit on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you. Wrap the middle of a towel around the bottom of your foot. Gently pull back on both ends and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch and then swap feet and stretch the other side too.

The Next Day

The next morning, or following a period of inactivity, is likely to be the time that you feel the after effects of performing exercise with plantar fasciitis. Perform the same plant stretches as described above as soon as you wake up, and try to make sure, especially if you are working on your feet all day, that you choose good quality footwear again.

It is possible to exercise with plantar fasciitis, but it is a good idea to avoid exercise that impacts on the base of the feet. Running and step aerobics, for example, could make the problem worse. If you’re training for an event, it may be inconvenient to stop running even for a couple of weeks, but it would be a lot less convenient if the plantar pain gets worse and you are unable to take part at all.