Most people do not realize the tremendous amount of pressure that is put on their feet during exercise. During running, the 26 bones, 33 joints,112 ligaments, and network of nerves and tendons that make up the foot all work together. Improper foot care during exercise can cause ailments from athlete’s foot to blisters, from corns to heel pain. Your podiatrist is here to help you stay active and keep running without damaging your feet.
Check Your Shoes
One of the most important things you can do for your feet while exercising is wear proper shoes, especially if there is running involved. Good shoes need to provide cushioning for shock absorption because of the force you are putting on your legs, ankles and feet when you run. It's important to select a pair of shoes designed for the shape of your foot and its natural structure and inclination.
Shop for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen to ensure a good fit. It also helps to wear the type of socks you will wear when running when you try on new shoes. If you use an orthotic, bring that as well. Look for lightweight, breathable shoes to ensure comfort, and consider buying two pairs and rotating them to extend the life of each pair. Running shoes should be replaced about every 400 miles.
Other Guidelines for Foot Care
Aside from having the right shoes for exercise, there are also other measures you can take to preserve the health of your feet.
- Wash your feet every day and make sure they are dried thoroughly.
- Good quality, well-fitting socks is also important for foot care.
- The more weight that is put on your feet, the more strain there is.
- Being in shape and being at a healthy weight will help take some of the stress off of your feet.
- Avoid walking barefoot.
- Do not ignore any foot pain.
Contact your podiatrist as soon as you feel any pain in your feet. The earlier an ailment is diagnosed, the easier it is to heal.