Dumbbells in the gym

Advanced foot rehab… walking in Italy

Getting back to proper walking has been a high priority for me lately and for this trip I planned a LOT of walking, but of course at an appropriate level to not overdo it – my feet still get very easily fatigued (which is very annoying!).

Abruzzo isn’t a shabby place to continue the foot rehab.
It’s a region full of natural beauty, a very outdoorsy place with all sorts of activities to do, from walking and hiking to skiing to snowshoe hiking (is that even a thing in English?) and whatnot.. this is one of the wilder and less touristy regions of Italy and it has everything. Where we stay it’s close enough to both the sea and city (Pescara is the nearest big city), mountains, farmlands, shopping etc. There are plenty of beautiful medieval villages to visit, some castles and other historical places, nature reserves, national parks and more. The local dish to know about is arrosticini (mutton skewers) and the primary wines to know about are Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano.

If you want to know more about the place where we stay, check this post. I have a special relationship with Italy which I’ll write about in a separate post later.

We arrived two weeks ago and it’s been a time of resting, hanging out with friends, enjoying the warmer weather, eating, drinking, walking, and doing some road trips. The first week was WARM with temps up to 30C (86F), recently it’s been cooler (which means 18-20C) with some rain, but we’re getting back to warmer temperatures and some sunshine again.

My fitness routine is obviously a bit out of whack since my normal routine is mostly gym-based, but I’m doing my best to get as much movement done as possible. It didn’t start great – during the trip I developed sinusitis, and with that in addition to no sleep and barely any proper food for 30 hours (which probably triggered it), I spent the first two days here mostly resting and/or sleeping. But after that, my feet wanted to walk!

This is a busy time here for the farmers because it’s in the middle of the olive harvest. This region lives on olive oil production and the people on the farm where we stay have about 1000 olive trees.

We’ve also walked to and in town, and visited some other villages – some a bit challenging for a recovering foot injury!

And the more challenging walks

A neighbour has been taking me along when she goes for dog walks in the mornings. These are different walks than what I usually do. They truly are off the beaten track, across fields, uneven terrain, and hills that can be quite steep although we try to avoid the worst. It has been challenging but my feet are loving it – lots of little muscles are getting to work and it’s good balance work too.

After our first walk, my husband and I had planned to go walking around a lake – the route was described as easy and “for everyone” so it seemed like the perfect Sunday walk! Or so we thought.

We found a car park and walked into the forest. It was a very nice path to begin with, but after a while it began twisting and turning with steep hills, sometimes VERY steep. After a certain point I started wondering if I should continue – I had no idea how my feet and specifically the left ankle and toes would respond to this. Then the path seemed to get easier again, so we continued happily until we came to an Indiana Jones style (at least in my head, lol) suspended bridge.

In the past I would never had dreamed of crossing a suspended bridge that MOVES when you walk on it, but with my Jävlaranamma mode switched on, I crossed the thing. Every step felt like I was going to die, but I LOVED it. It was such a wonderful feeling that I could do it! Challenging myself has become a thing, and when I can’t do it with running I have to find other ways, whether it’s with heavy weights or things I previously was too afraid to do. Sadly I didn’t think of taking photos.

My better half will try this trail again on Saturday for running, while I enjoy myself at the street market in Penne. I’m very curious to hear all about it when he comes back. I’d love to go back to the trail myself, but only when I’m 100% back to normal with the foot so probably next year.

So how did my foot and ankle react? Actually, the day after this walk, my ankle mobility seemed a lot improved and my calves were happier than before. Perhaps it was one of those challenges my foot needed!

This week I’m joining the Fit Five Friday link-up with Michelle, Renee, Darlene, Jenn and Zenaida.

10 responses to “Advanced foot rehab… walking in Italy”

  1. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    Love this… great photos and happy to see progress with your foot!! Hooray!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Darlene! It’s great to get some good walking done. Still a challenge at times but overall I feel good and walking feels close to normal most of the time now.

  2. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    I bet all that walking, especially on the uneven terrain, was SO good for your healing foot. Like you said, lots of little muscles getting lots of action 😉 Looks like a marvelous trip; I love all the pics!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, the uneven terrain felt great! And also all those steps up and down (plenty of them in these mountain villages) – good physiotherapy right there! I think I’ve overdone the walking a bit certain days, but so far the foot has seemed mostly happy to be back in action. 😜

  3. Jennifer Jones avatar

    This looks a lovely place for your rehab. Good to hear you’re on the mend. At the moment I’m sitting here with ice on my knee so know I share your frustration

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh, I’m so sorry about your knee! Hope it’s nothing bad. I’m very much on the mend and have been enjoying all the walking here… some more walking will happen this week.

  4. Jenny avatar

    Everything looks so beautiful! I love your photos. I’m so glad to hear your foot is holding up well! I agree with Kim- I’ll bet walking on all these different surfaces was great for your foot. Sounds like you’re having an amazing time!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, my foot has certainly been challenged here, and walking on different surfaces is supposed to be very beneficial. Now when I get home I’m definitely ready for the hilly roads around where we live.

  5. Anne avatar

    Susanne, what wonderful adventures, and I completely agree that they were a fabulous workout for your foot. Those tiny muscles make a huge difference and when you’re on paved roads/trails with shoes, well, it’s not easy to get them working. Walking barefoot on sand is my favorite version of this – but, of course, that’s hard to come by in the midwest. 🙂 Can’t wait to read more about your Italy adventures.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Aw, walking barefoot is marvellous for your feet! If you don’t know about it already and like barefoot walking, perhaps check out barefoot shoes? I started using them in the spring because they were the only shoes that would fit my swollen foot (they have a wide toebox) plus I had been reading about the benefit of barefoot shoes and was curious. My trainer doesn’t really believe in barefoot shoes but 100% promotes barefoot walking, he was the one who started that idea in my head to begin with. Now I use barefoot shoes for everything except longer walks, then I use Altra running shoes (which also have a wide toebox and zero drop).

      Those dog walks across the fields in Italy certainly worked wonders for my foot muscles, and so did the challenges of those trails in the forest. Next time we go i probably can do the fitness trail without problems too! (Although, not sure about the suspended bridge!)

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