Commentary by Dr. David Sullivan
The New Year is here, and many are ready to follow through with resolutions to exercise. Starting a new sport or fitness program is a great way to drop weight or to improve your cardiovascular health. But when you try a new exercise or start exercising more, you put lots of pressure on your feet. Follow these four important tips to avoid injuries.
Wear shoes designed for the exercise or sport: Athletic shoes that support your arch and cushion the heel are best to wear. To avoid twists and sprains, select shoes that offer ankle support. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that one shoe works for all activities. While shoe shopping, ask for advice based on your new activity. Orthotics may also help provide extra support. Have your feet measured and wear the proper size for the best comfort and fit.
Start new workouts gradually: Stretch or warm up for your workout and start new exercise routines gradually. We recommend increasing your exercise intensity by only 10 percent each week. If your feet do get sore, use rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.).
Protect your feet from bacteria: Public showers at the gym are breeding grounds for bacteria, including resistant strains like MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Never go barefoot in public areas and cover cuts and cracks in the skin or ingrown toenails. If you have a cut or scrape that gets infected and it’s not healing in a timely manner, contact our office to have it checked out.
Check with your podiatrist: It may be too early to jump back into exercising if you’re recovering from an injury or if you were recently diagnosed with a foot condition. Ask your podiatrist before making any fitness plans. You may have one exercise in mind, but your podiatrist may recommend something different to lessen the impact on your feet and ankles.