Do you use running as a way to exercise, stay healthy, or clear your mind? If so, you want to ensure you’re taking the proper steps to take care of your feet and ankles. During running, an average person will land on each foot with a force that equals to more than three times their body weight. This means it’s extremely important to prepare for your runs and to take time after your run to reset.
Buy Shoes That Fit
Foot care for runners starts with the kinds of shoes you’re wearing when you run. It should be common knowledge that you need shoes that actually fit you, but you’d be surprised how many people focus on looks versus comfort. This is when it’s important to understand your arch type to avoid further complications.
You also want to avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose. This can cause an injury like a rolled ankle or loss of circulation in the feet. Some stores offer special tools that scan your feet and actually show you the best brands for your arch type and activity style. If that doesn’t work for you, your Podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics for extra support.
Toss the Old Shoes
A good rule of thumb for running shoes is changing them out every 300-500 miles. One easy way to determine if your shoes should get tossed in the trash is by analyzing how your feet feel after a run. If you are experiencing any pain, then odds are the shoes have passed their expiration date.
Keep Your Feet Clean & Maintained
Good hygiene is a must in all aspects of life, but runners should be paying extra attention to their feet and ankles. Keeping your feet clean and dry is the best way to avoid conditions like fungal infections. You can do this by washing your feet in the shower, taking off your shoes and socks after a run, and avoid keeping them damp with sweat for long periods of time.
You’ll also want to pay attention to your toenails to determine if you have any ingrown toenails, which are notorious for causing extreme pain. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for bunions or warts, which can also put a damper on your running schedule.
If you notice any of these conditions, you’ll want to contact your Podiatrist to get things taken care of right away.
Try Strengthening Exercises
Lastly, you can implement strengthening exercises to help your body adjust to the impact that running has on you. Some well-known moves to help warm up your feet and ankles are toe raises, walking on the front of your feet, and stretching your calves.
We have a whole blog post dedicated to moves that get you warmed up for exercise here.
If you’re a runner and want to learn more about taking care of your feet, subscribe to our blog or reach out to us directly if you want to schedule an appointment.