It's a fact - running has many health benefits that you won't find in a pill bottle. But healthy, strong feet are essential to running success.
Regular exercise like running can help prevent some serious diseases and health conditions including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers too. Running in particular can improve your mental and emotional life and may even help you live longer!
Not only is running an excellent form of exercise but it's cheap too - all you need is a good pair of running shoes and the right kind of socks.
Running Puts a Lot of Stress on Your Feet
Running subjects your feet to quite a lot of stress. On average, each foot contacts the ground 80-100 times per minute. With every stride, your feet absorb up to 2 times your body weight!
Here are some tips from Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute to keep your feet in shape for running and staying injury-free:
- Get the right shoe. You may be bewildered at the vast variety of running shoes available at a good athletic shoe store, but focus on fit. Your run will become torture with ill-fitting shoes and you risk getting calluses and blisters. When shoe shopping, bring in your old running shoes so they can be checked for wear patterns. Discuss your arch type with the salesperson too. Leave plenty of room and length for your feet and toes, but don't buy too large as your feet will slide around which can cause blisters.
- Replace shoes when worn out. A good guide is to invest in new shoes at 350-500 miles, but watch for excessive wear that can ruin shock absorption.
- Buy quality socks. If socks don't fit well you may get blisters. Avoid cotton socks that can cause blistering too - instead opt for acrylic materials that wick away moisture.
- Start your running program gradually. Avoid injuries like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and Achilles tendonitis by easing into your workouts. Don't dramatically increase your mileage on weekends. Here's a good rule of thumb - ramp up your weekly distance by no more than a 10% increase to help your bones, muscles and tendons adapt gradually.
- Warm up and stretch. Warming up before a run and stretching thoroughly afterwards are crucial in avoiding injury. A calf stretch can prevent heel pain or plantar fasciitis and don't forget to stretch your feet and toes gently too.
We Can Help with Exercise or Sports Foot Injuries
Dr. John Schilero, DPM, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience in treating foot and ankle injuries brought on or worsened by working out or participating in sports. Please call us at 561-694-7776 EXT. 41 to make an appointment at one of our four offices conveniently located in Palm Beach County. You can also request an appointment at the website. Keeping your feet fit and healthy will go a long way in helping you maintain your running program!