It's never too late to get started on your journey to healthy living! Whether you're starting to work out more and eat healthily to benefit your physical health, mental health, or both, Freeland Foot and Ankle has you covered with tips and tricks to help keep you active and on your feet!
We applaud you for wanting to get up and moving, but we care about your feet too! If you're getting started on a health and fitness journey, you can rely on us to give you the knowledge to keep your feet happy and ready for the next adventure.
Ease Into New Activities
Getting into a new sport or training program can be exciting, and you might be tempted to get right into it and push yourself. That being said, your body's muscles do need to get used to certain movements and activities. Not easing into these new things can cause general pain, inflammation and irritation of muscles and ligaments, and even more severe injuries like ruptures or tears.
We recommend starting slow. If you're a runner, gradually increase your mileage slowly, over the course of a few weeks. For other activities, just be sure to increase the duration, intensity, or weight (if you're getting into weightlifting) just as slowly. Don't feel like you have to go all in all at once! There's no shame in taking a while to get used to your increased activity level. In fact, experts recommend you do just that! Remember: any level of activity that is higher than it was previously is an improvement you should be proud of!
How Does Weight Loss Affect Your Feet?
If you're on a weightloss journey, you've likely noticed some changes to the way your body feels overall. You might have more energy, breathe better, and have less joint-pain. But what about your feet?
Weight loss can cause your shoe size to go down. Additionally, even mild to moderate weight loss can significantly improve the strain on your lower joints and extremities. Because weight can be a factor in diagnosing diabetes, losing weight decreases your risk of diabetes and diabetes-related foot issues.
If you have custom orthotics (and if you've made it a goal to increase your activity-level, you should definitely consider getting orthotics!) you should replace them after losing 30% of your bodyweight. For example, if you weighed 250 pounds when you were fitted for the orthotics, you should be re-fitted after losing 75 pounds.
How to Avoid Athlete's Foot
This common condition affects the skin of the feet. It can occur when our feet are stuck in hot, damp, sweat-soaked socks. It can be itchy and bothersome, even painful in more severe cases. Your best bet is to avoid the condition altogether. Always wear a fresh pair of socks, and let your shoes air-dry completely before putting them on. Some people like to use anti-fungal powders in their shoes. These powders can help to deodorize your shoes by eliminating odor-causing bacteria. If you're experiencing any itching or burning of the feet, schedule an appointment to avoid worsening symptoms.
How to Pick a Good Shoe
Shoes might be the single most important thing (other than a positive attitude!) when it comes to exercising. Whether you're running, starting CrossFit, or a nightly walk in the neighborhood, wearing shoes that support your feet is crucial to avoid sports injuries and heel pain. The best treatment for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis is prevention, after all! The three qualities of a good shoe are:
- Stable heel counter: The very back of the shoe should be stable. Flexible, but not too flexible.
- Difficult to twist: You should not be able to "wring out" your shoes.
- Bend at the toe: Look for flexibility in the toe box.
Learn More: 3 Ways to Know You've Picked a Good Shoe
We have a myriad of resources for picking a proper, supportive shoe. All of this invaluable knowledge is available right on our website! When you come in for an appointment, we'll help determine whether or not you're wearing proper footwear, and we'll teach you how to find shoes that will help you avoid foot and ankle pain.
Tip: We know weight loss isn't always the goal when it comes to leading an active lifestyle, but sometimes it's just an added bonus. If you've recently lost 40-50 pounds, it might be a good idea to have your feet measured! Weight loss of 50 pounds or more can lead to your feet shrinking by up to two shoe sizes!
Looking for a low-impact activity to take some strain off of those tired feet? Check out the benefits of yoga!
Knowing When to Take it Easy
While soreness and a little achiness are completely normal, even for seasoned athletes, it is extremely important to note that pain is never normal. If you are experiencing pain or inflammation in your feet, ankle, legs, knees, or even your hips and back, the issue could stem from your feet! Ask us about gait analysis and shoe evaluations to make sure you are putting your best foot forward for your next workout.
Most importantly, taking a break, resting, and listening to your body's cues are all crucial to maintaining healthy muscles, building stamina, and keeping yourself active for years to come.
Get Motivated and Get Moving With Local Clubs and Events
There are a lot of ways to be active, whether it be running, swimming, biking, or even going on an evening walk. Luckily, Mid-Michigan is a community-focused place and there are groups and clubs for just about every activity you can think of! Local running clubs near you are ready and willing to teach you the do's and don't's of running and to offer companionship and support as you go forth on your fitness journey. Local gyms and fitness centers offer group classes that can help you to join together with other people on similar journeys as you. We like to stay up to date on local events, clubs, and offerings within the fitness world. Ask us about a local event or group that could help you on your journey to an active life.
Sports Medicine Podiatrist Serving Saginaw, Midland, and Beyond
No matter where you are in your fitness journey, and whether your motivations are weight, strength, or general health, having a team of compassionate professionals in your corner is just one of the ways you can crush your goals. Dr. Dailey and his team will support you every step of the way, offering expert advice on proper footwear, advanced treatments for heel pain, and more! Give us a call or fill out our contact form today and see why Freeland Foot and Ankle Clinic is Mid-Michigan's #1 Rated Podiatrist.