If your New Year’s Resolutions include exercising more, we want to help you reach your goals while avoiding injury. To get you through 2022 pain-free, we’ve compiled a few tips to keep you on your feet and focused on being active!
Wear Appropriate Shoes
To minimize the likelihood of a foot or ankle injury while exercising, proper footwear is essential. A good-quality pair of athletic shoes requires support and protection. While shopping for a new pair, it is important you take into account your foot size, shape, and gait so that you can find the right shoe for your foot type. For example, if you have low arches and your feet tend to roll inward, then you'll need a shoe with motion-control features and adequate support. If you have high arches and your feet roll outward, look for a more cushioned sneaker. Additionally, be sure the shoe fits the physical activities you do most often. Athletic footwear is often designed for a specific sport or activity to protect against the forces exerted on the feet. Here is what to look for in a shoe to match your physical activity:
- Running - Choose a shoe with good balance, stability, and a raised heel.
- Walking - Choose a shoe with a good amount of shock absorption and a medium tread.
- Hiking - Look for a high-top shoe with ankle stability, traction, and a large tread.
A crucial part of any workout is stretching! Stretching serves many benefits for your feet and ankles like building strength, increasing blood circulation, providing pain relief, and lessening the risk of injury. It's especially important to dedicate time for stretching during the winter months, as muscles and ligaments tend to stiffen up in colder weather. So before you head out on that chilly, morning run or strap on your ice skates, get into a routine of stretching your lower limbs. It's a simple practice that will go a long way in the overall health and wellness of your body.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
After stretching, a little active cardio (jumping jacks, jogging, footwork drills, butt kicks, etc.) before exercise will warm up your muscles and help them resist strain. Start slow and build the intensity of your exercises. Then, gradually cooling down with some post-workout stretches helps flush toxins from your system more efficiently.
Address Pain Immediately
While you may start out sore when you begin a new exercise routine, persistent pain is never normal. If you frequently feel foot or ankle pain during or after a workout, address the issue with your doctor immediately! Ignoring the problem could make it much worse in the long run.
At Martin Foot & Ankle, we want you happy, healthy, and on your feet! We provide comprehensive care for all kinds of foot and ankle sports injuries, and our physical therapy team can also help you begin and maintain an effective injury rehabilitation and training program to get you back in the game—and keep you there. If you have experienced any foot or ankle injuries due to exercise, request an appointment online, or give us a call today at (717) 757-3537.