Now is the time of year we set goals to lose weight and get back in shape. Whether you have set a goal to lose five pounds or run your first marathon in 2011, take care of your feet by following these guidelines:
Get new running shoes. Even if you never plan on running, get a pair of running shoes for your active endeavors. Running shoes are better constructed and will provide better support than walking shoes or cross trainers. Running shoes should be replaced every 300 miles and to ensure a good fit, there should be a finger’s width of space ahead of the longest toe (which may not be the big toe) to allow room for the feet to swell.
- Start slow! If it has been awhile since you did any form of activity don’t overdo it the first week. Start slow and set reasonable goals rather than trying to make up for all of the days you missed in 2010.
- Stretch. Focus on stretching the calf muscles. Short 15 second stretches multiple times through out the day will prevent heel pain, a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
- Listen to pain. If you have pain during or after a workout, take a break and change up your routine. Varying your workouts will help to prevent an overuse injury like tendonitis.
- Fulfill that “Get Healthy” resolution. Housing extra pounds affects your feet tremendously. Extra weight translates to extra pressure on your foot and ankle joints which can lead to chronic foot and ankle pain.
If foot or ankle pain is keeping you on the couch, consult a Podiatrist. Often times we can prescribe a custom shoe insert, stretches, or other conservative treatment to help you meet your goals.