Caring For Your Feet at the Gym

As spring starts to warm up many people are hitting the gym and increasing their outdoor fitness. It is important that you not neglect your feet as you start or progress in your fitness journey. Here are a few items that can help to prevent your feet from harm.

-Don't do too much at once. You cannot start running for the first time and run a marathon. One of the most frequent mistakes I see from patients starting a new exercise program is increasing their distance or frequency too fast. Remember to give yourself rest days to allow your body to recover.

-Wear proper shoe gear. A good shoe should have support through the midsole. The only place a shoe needs to bend is at the big toe joint. If the shoe bends anywhere else, it is not going to give you support and can lead to arch pain. Gym shoes should also have some padding to them. Without padding, heel pain and stress fractures are more common. Remember to always wears socks!

-Warm up properly. Stretching before exercise can help to reduce injury. Increasing mobility prevents tendinitis and joint pain.

-Cool down properly. Stretching after a workout can help to prevent swelling and tendinitis. Icing the foot and ankle can also help to reduce swelling and prevent inflammation.

-Use good hygeine. Do not walk barefoot in the gym, public restroom, pool area or showers. These areas can harbor bacteria and fungus leading to infections.

-Change your shoes. Athletic shoes should be worn for no more than 200-300 miles or about 6 months. Even if they look like they are in good condition, the wear in the soles can lead to foot pain.

-Pay attention to your bodies needs. If you are noticing soreness in your foot, ankle or anywhere else, then it may be time for a rest day. Don't ignore pain. If your foot or ankle hurt, make an appointment with your Podiatrist.

As always, if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment call (480)-632-5757.

Chris Suykerbuyk, DPM, FACFAS

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