We all know that exercise is good for your body, but if you aren’t careful, it can also be hard on your feet. This can lead to a rather expensive trip to the podiatrist. Below are some of the effects that exercise has on your feet and how you can avoid having to see a podiatrist.
Effects of Exercise on Your Feet
One of the more devastating effects of exercising is caused by a sudden injury. Your ankle rolls under you or you kick the ground instead of the soccer ball, and next thing you know you are dealing with a fracture or sprain. Injuries that are severe enough can through of your exercise routine for months at a time.
Repetitive Stress Injury and Strains
The other risk to your feet is caused gradually by consistent stress on your feet. Such repetitive stress can result in stress fractures, blisters, plantar fasciitis, etc. The effects of these injuries can be just as devastating on your feet, and some are difficult to treat.
How to Avoid Having to See a Podiatrist
Use Proper Form
When it comes to avoiding the podiatrist’s office, prevention is the key. Your number one tool to preventing either kind of injury to your foot is to always use proper form when exercising. Proper form avoids putting undue stress on your feet and keeps you aware of your body, reducing your risk of sudden accidental injury.
Wear the Right Support
Your second tool when it comes to preventing injury (particularly repetitive stress injury) is to make sure you are wearing the proper footwear for your feet and your sport. One common cause of plantar fasciitis, for example, is not having proper arch support. Even if you already have a foot injury, proper support is integral to the recovery process. You may even need a pair of foot orthotics in order to provide gentle support to the arch of your feet.
Try Non Weight–Bearing Exercise and Stretching
If you have already suffered an injury, you can help your recovery by keeping your body moving. Avoid weight-bearing exercises which put you at risk of re-injuring your feet. Instead, try swimming, which strengthens the muscles without straining them. You can also use exercise to prevent injury—incorporating stretching into your exercise routine will keep your muscles limber and flexible, and therefore less injury prone.
In short, foot injuries are always a risk when exercising regularly, but the best way to avoid the podiatrist’s office is prevention. Use proper form, wear the right shoes, and stretch regularly and your feet will thank you.