If you want optimal health and wellbeing, you probably know the drill – eat well, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep at night, and exercise on a regular basis. Taking these measures is important not only for improved cardiovascular performance, weight loss and management, and feeling more energized, they are also necessary to keep your feet healthy and functional.
Foot health is often an overlooked benefit of a healthy lifestyle. Take a moment and think about it, though – how often do you use your feet? If you’re an average person, you use them to take roughly 10,000 steps every day! Your lower limbs are clearly quite important, so let’s look at workout injury prevention tips to keep them safe when you perform physical activity.
- Choose the right shoes – This is your starting point for treating your feet well when you work out. You need to get shoes that are activity appropriate, fit well, offer ample cushioning and arch support, and are well constructed. If running is your preferred exercise, you also need footwear that work with your pronation style. (If you don’t know which pronation style you use, we can help!)
- Warm up and stretch – Before you get into the core of your workout, start with a light warmup (brisk walking or light jogging are good choices) and then progress to some dynamic stretching. Static stretching—the kind where you hold a stretch in place for about 30 seconds—has its place, but it’s not “prior to physical activity.” Stretching exercises can help you reduce your risk of common sources of heel pain.
- Ease into new workout programs – If it’s been a while since you last worked out, you really need to start at a fairly easy level and then gradually progress the levels of duration and intensity. For running specifically, a good target is to target for a 10% increase (not more) in time and distance every week.
- Hydrate – Put simply, drinking plenty of water before your workout will help you avoid muscle cramps in your lower limbs.
- Eat well – Sure, you probably aren’t going to eat during your workout, but you should plan your diet so your bones and muscles have the right nutrients to stay strong and healthy.
Sure, we can create a treatment plan for a stress fracture in your foot or ankle and other injuries, but taking measures to prevent problems from developing in the first place is really the way to go.
If you would like additional information or have suffered a foot or ankle injury during your workout, we can help. Give us a call at (516) 541-9000 to request your appointment today!