There are many health benefits to regular running or jogging. These benefits include strengthening muscles and bones, improving cardiovascular fitness, and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s essential, therefore, to ensure your feet are healthy and strong and that you know how to avoid an injury while running.
Here are four steps to consider, not just in protecting your feet from injuries, but also in ensuring your feet benefit from the exercise as much as the rest of your body.
Visiting your podiatrist for a foot fitness check
If you’re starting an exercise program, an examination of your feet can identify any potential problems. For example, a podiatrist might suggest fitting your running shoes with an orthotic insert. This will assist in avoiding some of the most common injuries associated with running and jogging, such as heel spurs, shin splints, and tendon and calf strain.
Choosing the best footwear
Don’t wear old or worn runners as they lack support and they are the most common cause of injuries.
Some of us are flat-footed runners and some of us speed along on the balls of our feet. Your style of running or jogging can influence your choice of shoe and the decision on whether an orthotic device will be beneficial. Keep in mind that shoes need to provide cushioning for shock absorption, and the shoe should bend fully at the ball of the foot area while remaining firm and secure in the midfoot region. When purchasing your running shoes, wear the socks that you use when running.
The value of stretching
Stretching warms up the muscles, which in turn reduces the strain on the muscles, tendons, and ankles. Allow five to ten minutes for your stretching exercise, ideally taking a slow ten-minute walk before it. The most effective stretching exercise for your Achilles tendon and your calf muscles is the wall push-up, keeping your rear leg straight, your front leg bent, and with your hands against the wall. Switch legs every ten seconds as you push and stretch.
Control moisture by keeping your feet powdered and dry. This will help avoid blisters and the effects of sweating. The choice of running socks plays an important part here as well. Avoid socks that are one-hundred-per cent cotton. Selecting socks made of synthetic materials such as polyester and acrylic is best, as those fibres wick moisture away from your skin. This method of quickly moving sweat to the outer surface of the fabric and drying rapidly keeps you comfortable. It enables your body to better regulate your temperature.
Whether you’ve been running or jogging for a while, or just getting started, the Melville Wellness team can assist. As the leading Perth podiatrist, we can help keep your feet in the right condition for your exercise regimen.