New Year’s Resolutions for Your Feet
With 2018 just days away, we can expect to see many advertisements from gyms, nutrition supplement stores and department stores head lining “a new year, a new you!” Many people focus their New Year’s resolution on weight loss and improving health. However, foot problems are often overlooked and can be a reason people drop out of their exercise regime.
The reality is that exercise and healthy eating can benefit your feet immensely, so being able to continue with your exercise program is important. Weight loss significantly reduces the stress on the feet reducing chances of bony, tendinous, and ligamentous injuries. Similarly, exercise, as simple as a daily walking routine, can also improve blood flow to the legs and feet. Furthermore, avoiding foods that can cause inflammation, such as sugar and fried foods, can help with reducing general achiness of joints, including those outside of the feet. Let me suggest five New Year’s resolutions to follow, regarding your foot health, to keep you active and on your feet.
1. Athletic shoes: Shoes should be replaced every 6 months or after 300-500 miles of use. When using a worn out shoe, foot alignment can change increasing the chance of injury and heel pain. Though purchasing new shoes isn’t inexpensive, you are doing yourself a favor and preventing yourself a trip to the Podiatrist in the long run.
2. Stress fractures: Avoid doing the same repetitive activity day after day. Change up your workout routine consistently. Repetitive activity can result in stress fractures. For instance, if you enjoy running try to avoid the use of a treadmill (what we like to call a dread mill) daily. Many stress fractures arise from the repetitive motion with little shock absorption offered by the tread mill.
3. Proper fitting shoe gear: It is estimated that up to 80% of people wear the wrong size shoe gear creating many foot related issues. Amongst those issues are blisters, calluses and nail problems. Having your foot measured prior to purchasing a shoe can help prevent further complications.
4. Fungus: Let’s face it, everyone’s feet sweat while working out. Unfortunately, fungus likes to harbor in dark, moist environments, also known as your shoes and socks. Anyone can develop athlete’s foot infection, but your sweaty sneakers are a prime spot to harbor fungus. Athlete’s foot infection can be itchy and cause cracking between the toes. A simple solution is to wash socks after every use and spray Lysol in your tennis shoes following your work out activities. See your podiatrist if you think you may have athlete’s foot infection or consistently suffer from sweaty feet.
5. Warts: Plantar warts are a form of a virus that are easily transmissible through a crack in the skin. People often go barefoot in gym locker rooms or showers, making it the perfect time to become infected. Plantar warts can be painful, especially when they overlie a pressure point on the foot. Wearing shoes in the locker room/shower can help prevent this complication that may slow you down in the gym. If you think you may have a plantar wart, see your Podiatrist for treatment options.
With a new year on the horizon, I wish you a happy and prosperous year and many trouble-free miles on your feet!