How to Lose Weight While on Crutches

Just because you are on crutches doesn't mean you can't exercise.
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If you are on crutches because of a broken leg, recent surgery or injury, you may be wondering if you'll have to put your exercise program on hold. Just because your leg is recovering doesn't mean that you have to remain immobile during the recuperation process. In addition to strength training and light cardiovascular exercise, you can cut out calories in your diet to facilitate weight loss.

    Eat healthily and cut calories out of your diet. A healthy diet includes lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, low fat dairy products and whole grains. Avoid sugary snacks, fatty meats, processed foods and full fat dairy products. In order to lose weight from your diet alone, you'll need to cut out 500 calories per day. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, therefore if you cut out 500 calories per day for seven days you'll shed one pound. If your doctor doesn't recommend that you exercise during your rehabilitation, you may want to restrict your calories even further to avoid gaining weight while your are inactive. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist to find out a diet plan that is appropriate for you.

    Perform seated strength training exercises that avoid stressing the broken leg. You can use a weight bench, free weights or seated exercise machines to strengthen your muscles and burn calories. The American Council on Exercise points out that your body continues to burn calories even after you've finished your strength training session.. Seated bicep curls can be performed even if you're on crutches. Sit as comfortably as possible in a chair -- if your leg is in a cast you might have to extend your injured leg in front of you. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and tuck your elbows close to your sides. Keep your elbows tucked throughout the entire exercise. Bend your right elbow and curl your right hand to meet your right shoulder. Lower your right hand back down to your side and curl the left hand to meet your left shoulder. Repeat 12 to 15 repetitions, working your way up to three sets.

    Perform very light cardiovascular activity to get your heart rate pumping. Just the sheer act of walking with a set of crutches might be enough to make you break out in a sweat. Instead of staying immobile the entire day, walk around your house several times. You can also perform cardio activities with just the upper body, such as shadowboxing or arm circles.


    • Keep a food diary to record everything that you eat during the day. List the amount of calories you are consuming and try to find way to cut out at least 500 calories per day. Snack on low calories foods, such as carrot sticks, celery, plain popcorn and rice cakes in between meals.


    • Any exercise and diet plan that you decide on should be thoroughly discussed with your doctor.

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