Generally when people exercise, they think about building up their core muscles or arms and shoulders, or trying to lose weight. Many people forget that the health and strength of their feet matter, too. When your feet are in pain, or aren’t strong enough to handle your activities, you’re going to have a hard time doing anything. Fortunately, there are things you can do for your feet to help improve their fitness—and your overall health as a result.
How your feet respond when you exercise can tell you a lot about your overall health. Don’t ignore pain you feel when you work out or play sports. Pain in your feet is frequently your body’s way of telling you something is not right and needs to be examined. Dr. Sanjay Patel can evaluate your feet and determine how to best support and strengthen them so you are able to exercise well.
Your toes help you balance as well as push off the ground when you walk or run. If they are weakened or compromised by an injury or condition that impairs their efficiency, they aren’t able to do their job. Fortunately, like any other part of the body, exercising your toes helps build strength and endurance in the muscles. This can even reduce and prevent pain as your muscles improve.
Stretching out your feet actually does matter. Too-tight muscles are uncomfortable and ineffective in performing their jobs. Also, many conditions, such as heel pain, can be helped by stretching out the affected tendons.
This healthy form of exercise benefits your whole body, without putting the extra impact on your feet that the hard jolts from running does. Additionally, regular foot exercise also conditions the muscles and connecting tissues in your feet. That way, when you do get involved with higher-intensity exercises, your feet are better able to handle the pressure, so your risk of injury and foot pain decreases. For people who struggle with other exercises and find their feet don’t handle the pounding well, walking provides a valuable alternative.
Different jobs require different shoes. Some occupations use stylish dress shoes, while others need heavy-duty work boots. Some need shoes that allow them to walk or stand for the majority of their shift. No matter what your job is, wearing well-fitted footwear that accommodates your foot structure while supporting and cushioning is important. Shoes that are too tight or don’t pad the right places can leave you with aches instead of allowing you to do your job comfortably. If the footwear itself is not enough, custom orthotics can provide that extra support or layer to help you avoid and prevent painful conditions.
Every athletic endeavor, whether done for fun and exercise or competitively, comes with its own risks and concerns for your feet. Aerobics and golf put different pressures on your feet—and the same goes for other sports, like cycling, tennis, baseball, basketball, and many others, especially running and jogging. Wearing the right shoes and performing stretching and conditioning exercises can go a long way in helping you avoid and handle foot pain from athletics.
How you care for your feet is as important as how you care for the rest of your body. Don’t ignore discomfort in your feet when you’re exercising or playing sports. If you find foot pain is limiting your activities, don’t wait and hope it gets better. Contact expert podiatrist Dr. Sanjay Patel. He can help you treat your foot problems, prevent possible conditions from forming, and return you to your activities better than before. For an appointment or more information, visit our online contact page, or call one of our two convenient office locations: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, and (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.