More than half of Americans annually resolve to exercise more, according to polls, but before you hit the gym be sure to address how a workout can impact your feet.
Podiatric physicians Dr. Craig Beaudis and Dr. Michael Daniels at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, with 18 offices in the Mahoning Valley, recommend heeding the following advice:
- Time for new shoes. Athletic shoes that are more than a year old have lost their support and may cause an increase in foot pain or possibly injury. Invest in a new pair of shoes.
- If the shoe fits. Be measured by an experienced salesperson or podiatric physician, and purchase shoes based on fit, comfort and its intended use. A running shoe, for instance, will not provide the lateral support needed for tennis or basketball.
- About that blister. Blisters are caused by wrinkles in socks, poor-fitting shoes, excessive moisture or deformities. Powder or additional padding can help avoid blisters. Avoid the temptation to pop the blister.
- Heel pain can be a warning sign. Don’t ignore persistent pain in the heel, especially if it occurs in the morning or after resting. This may be plantar fasciitis. If stretching before taking your first steps in the morning and after sitting for long periods does not resolve the pain, see a podiatric physician.
- Don’t ignore nagging pain. Chronic foot and ankle pain after exercising should be checked out. A podiatric physician can develop a treatment plan that alleviates your pain and improves your exercise regimen.
- Diabetics can exercise, too. People with diabetes should have annual foot exams, at minimum; more frequently if you have poor blood flow or loss of sensation. Most diabetics are also eligible for diabetic shoes, which are designed to reduce the incidence of foot ulcers. A podiatric physician can provide proper measurements for therapeutic footwear.
- Too much, too soon. Tendinitis may occur by overdoing it too soon. Slowly begin your exercise program, and warm up and stretch appropriately. Treat tendinitis with rest, ice and anti-inflammatories. If it does not resolve, see a podiatric physician.
Injuries to the feet are among the more common reasons why the “exercising more” resolution gets broken. Without healthy feet it’s difficult to maintain the momentum and good habits the well-intentioned set out to achieve. Best wishes for staying true to your resolution, and have a safe and healthy new year.
If you need further advice on how to care for your feet upon starting an exercise program, the expert podiatrists at Ankle & Foot Care Centers can help. To schedule your appointment today at one of 19 locations, visit the website at http://www.ankleandfootcare.com/.