Your feet are one of the most overlooked body parts when it comes to exercise. As you exercise, pay attention to what your feet are telling you.
Consult your Podiatrist before beginning any fitness program. This includes 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.
Proper fitness requires wearing the right clothes and shoes. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored and loosely woven clothing in hot weather and several layers of warm clothing in cold weather.
The American Podiatric Medical Association stresses the importance of foot care in exercising. People don’t realize the tremendous pressure that is put on their feet while exercising. For example, a 150-pound jogger puts more than 150 tons runs of impact on his feet when running three miles.
Improper foot care during exercise is a contributing factor of some of the more than 300 foot ailments, according to the APMA.
The following are common ailments caused by improper foot care during exercise:
Before beginning an exercise regimen, proper stretching is essential. If muscles are properly warmed up, the strain on muscles, tendons and joints is reduced.
Stretching exercises should take 5-10 minutes, and ought to be conducted in a stretch/hold/relax pattern without any bouncing or pulling. It is important to stretch the propulsion muscles in the back of the leg and thigh (posterior), and not forget the anterior muscles.
Some effective stretching exercises include:
Excessive tightness of the calf muscles can contribute to many foot problems and some knee problems. A key point of injury is the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscle to the back of the heel. When the calf muscle tightens up, it limits the movement of the ankle joint.
Calf muscle stretching is very useful in the treatment of many foot disorders and for the prevention of foot problems. Two typical methods for stretching your calf muscles include:
The conventional method most runners use while facing and leaning into a wall.
An alternative method of standing approximately two feet from a wall. While facing the wall, turn your feet inward (“pigeon toed”) and lean forward into the wall, keeping your heels on the floor and the knees extended. Keep your back straight and don’t bend at the hips. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times in a row.