|With summer (hopefully) just around the corner, many of us are thinking about how to get our exercise routines back on track or maybe thinking about starting a new workout program. While it may seem like a good idea now to jump in feet first, don’t go sign up for your first half-marathon just yet. When starting any rigorous exercise, there are a few things to keep in mind before you begin:
Slow and steady wins the race
Whether it’s been a couple months or 20 years since you were last on a serious exercise program, it’s important to increase intensity gradually in order to progress from one week to the next without the risk of injury. Pushing yourself too fast or training too hard can lead to injuries that may take weeks to recover come, leaving you frustrated and discouraged.
Quality over Quantity
In order to get the most out of your workouts, learning the proper technique is more important than how much you can bench or how many squats you can do. Using improper technique means you’re not putting enough stress on the intended muscles and inadvertently straining other areas.
An Ounce of Prevention…
Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis are two of the most common exercise related injuries, particularly for runners. To prevent foot, toe and heel pain, be sure to stretch and strengthen your feet often (daily if possible).
- Stand on a step with forefeet on the edge, holding on to a railing if necessary. Push up with both feet into a calf raise. Lift one leg off the step and lower your other leg so that your heel drops below the step. Take up to 10 seconds to lower it. Return to start; repeat 10 times on each foot. Do three times a week.
- While seated, place a thick rubber band (or a towel) around your toes and spread them apart. Double the band if it's not tight enough to provide resistance. Hold for five seconds. Do 10 times on both feet. Do three times a week.
“A shoe is not only a design, but it's a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you're going to move is quite dictated by your shoes”. – Christian Louboutin
- Stand with a tennis ball directly under second toe of right foot. Slowly roll ball around sole of foot for 1 to 3 minutes; repeat with left foot.
While Christian Louboutin may not have been talking about athletic shoes, the message still stands. Choosing the proper style and fit of shoes can dictate how you perform and prevent injuries. Because of the specific needs for individual sports, purchasing shoes from specialty stores from experienced staff will assure you that you are getting the shoe that works best for you and your feet. A few key points to keep in mind are
As always, it’s recommended that you check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program and remember to listen to your body - it is your best indicator of what works for you, what doesn’t and when you’re able to step it up a notch or need to take a break. Foot pain is never normal and if you’re experiencing any discomfort, call your chiropodist to assess any concerns and keep your feet at their best.
- Try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are the largest
- Wear the same type of sock that you wear for that sport
- Shoes should never need to be “broken in”. They should be comfortable as soon as you put them on