When it comes to exercise, our focus is often on how to tone our abs or build up our arm muscles. But what about our feet? Our feet are the foundation of our body, and they endure a great deal of stress during exercise. Unfortunately, many people overlook their feet when it comes to fitness. This can lead to foot problems that could have been avoided with proper care. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your feet healthy while exercising.
Get a Physical and Foot Exam
Before starting any fitness program, it’s important to see a healthcare professional. This includes getting a complete physical and foot exam. This is especially important for those who are overweight, smoke, or haven’t had a physical exam in a long time. A doctor can assess any risks or potential foot problems, and provide guidance on the best exercises and footwear for your body type.
Wear the Right Clothes and Shoes
Proper fitness requires wearing the right clothes and shoes. For example, loose-fitting, light-colored and loosely woven clothing is best in hot weather. In contrast, in cold weather, it’s better to wear several layers of warm clothing. When it comes to shoes, one size does not fit all. Make sure your shoes fit well and provide enough support for your feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association stresses the importance of foot care in exercising, and recommends choosing shoes based on the type of exercise and foot structure.
Pay Attention to Your Feet
As you exercise, pay attention to what your feet are telling you. If you experience foot pain, don’t ignore it. Continuing to exercise on painful feet can lead to further injury. Additionally, don’t assume that foot pain is just a temporary annoyance. It could be a sign of a more serious problem. If you experience persistent pain, make an appointment with your doctor or a podiatrist like Dr Gilbert Huang DPM.
Common Foot Ailments
Ignoring foot care during exercise can lead to a wide range of ailments. These can include:
-Athlete’s foot: a fungal infection that causes itchy, flaky skin between the toes.
-Blisters: painful, fluid-filled bumps on the skin.
-Corns and calluses: hardened skin that forms from friction or pressure on the feet.
-Heel pain (including heel spurs): pain in the heel that can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor footwear or tight muscles.
While these ailments may seem minor, they can seriously impact your ability to exercise. Additionally, continuing to exercise on compromised feet can cause further injury or create more serious problems down the line.
In conclusion, your feet are an important part of your overall health, and proper foot care is essential to exercise success. By seeing a healthcare professional before beginning a fitness program, wearing the right clothes and shoes, paying attention to foot pain, and addressing common foot ailments, you’ll be able to keep your feet healthy and exercise safely. Remember, if you experience persistent foot pain, make an appointment with your doctor or a podiatrist. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is one such podiatrist that can help you properly care for your feet while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.