Have you ever thought about the ways you could keep your feet safe during your workout? While some people tend to focus on the performance of major muscles when working out, it’s crucial to think of your feet as well. The reason behind it is that your feet take an extra pounding from indoor tracks and cardio equipment and they can also be exposed to infection-causing and harmful bacteria. This is why you should think of ways to keep your feet safe during a workout. If you won’t take care of your feet, you might suffer from foot injuries.
You have to take note that whether you’re lifting weights, running, or jumping, your feet are at risk. While you can’t avoid injuries, there are some ways to keep your feet safe during a workout. But first, make sure to understand the common foot injuries and how you can avoid them to enjoy your workout sessions regularly.
Common Foot Injuries You Should Know
- Plantar Fasciitis – Your plantar fascia can be injured once you put too much stress on your foot’s arch. Typically, this ligament absorbs the strain of movement and stress and supports your foot’s arch. A usual indicator of plantar fasciitis is heel pain, which is the feeling of a stabbing pain after several periods of rest. One of the ways to keep your feet safe and avoid this is by using proper workout gear before you proceed with your exercise.
There are foot and ankle doctors that provide treatment for plantar fasciitis Idaho Falls.
- Achilles Tendonitis – One of the common foot injuries, this tendonitis usually affects your Achilles tendon, which is the biggest tendon in your body. The injuries arise because of age-related and overuse wear and tear and can be painful.
- Sprained Ankles – Sprained or twisted ankles happen when the foot is forced into several directions. Typically, the ankle is twisted inwards, which can damage the outer ligaments.
- Stress Fractures – These can be due to high-intensity exercises. Such hairline fractures can be due to poor form, poor conditioning, and lack of proper equipment. If you don’t keep your feet safe, small cracks in your bones can result in a full break and may develop once treated properly.
- Heel Spurs – These can be caused by calcium deposits in your heels. Heel spurs are also identifiable as bony protrusions. Repetition of impact may lead to painful conditions.
- Pinched Nerves – These may affect your feet, even if the reasons for this aren’t clear. The leading causes have been due to too much pressure, injuries, arch issues, and bone spurs. However, underlying causes including diabetes and ill-fitting shoes can be contributors.
Tips To Keep Your Feet Safe
It’s always easy to take your feet for granted. Whether you’re going for a long walk, starting a workout routine, or pushing yourself during a speedy run, it’s essential to give your feet the attention and care they deserve.
Below are some of the tips to keep your feet safe during a workout:
Use The Right Pair Of Shoes For Workout
Your feet serve as the foundation of your body. Strong feet are equivalent to having a strong body. Take note that your feet are connected to your glutes and core, which means that you can get more out of your workouts if you’re strong from the ground up. Once you take care of your feet, you’ll be able to keep them strong and flexible. This is why you should use the right pair of shoes for your workout.
Like any body part to achieve optimal performance, you have to care for your feet and keep your feet safe. The impact that comes with cardio exercises requires the use of the right footwear. If you wear improper shoes, it can result in foot injuries, tendonitis, heel spurs, or arch spasms.
When looking for the right pair of shoes for a workout, pick a shoe that’s made for a certain workout, so you can protect your feet and avoid injury. For instance, if you’re the type of person who takes workouts seriously, your athletic socks and footwear must reflect that.
With the different options out there, it isn’t always an easy process to choose the right one for your needs. However, try not to make your shoes a multi-tasking shoe. For instance, running shoes aren’t the same as sneakers used for weight lifting.
The best shoes for workouts are the ones that enable optimal movement. It’s offered through footwear with minimal support and cushion. Almost all types of feet can tolerate working out with minimal shoes when proper foot strengthening and flexibility are done.
Here are some of the shoes you can use for every type of workout:
- Running Shoes – These have inbuilt shock absorbers that are available for joggers.
- Lightweight Walking Shoes – These are perfect for those who enjoy walking.
- Aerobic Shoes – These are shock-absorbing and lightweight shoes that help prevent foot fatigue and provide cushion to your foot’s ball.
- Cross-Training Shoes – As the term implies, these shoes are ideal for those who do cross-training regularly.
There are other shoes you can consider if you’re looking to keep your feet safe. If you’re not sure about your option, make sure to ask for help from your friends or fitness instructors who are more knowledgeable about proper footwear when working out.
Stretch Your Feet
While most fitness buffs may think to stretch their hamstrings, some often overlook feet as the body part that may benefit from stretching.
You’ll be surprised to learn that there are some stretches you can do for your feet. The simplest way to get started is by using a tennis ball and rolling it underneath your soles. It’ll help relieve your foot’s tension and can be excellent if you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis, which makes it less likely to be irritated.
Doing cardio or simply exercising won’t strengthen feet. Foot-specific exercises should be done to strengthen your feet. Balance exercises and barefoot exercises are some of your options to keep your feet safe and strong. For example, there are several yoga moves like Mountain Pose that will provide your feet a solid workout.
Don’t Forget Cooling Down
Like warming up, you should never neglect the importance of cooling down. Take some time to cool down by tapering your exercise slowly. This provides your muscles and tendons time to resume and recover a resting state without suffering from injuries.
Rest Your Feet
Another tip to keep your feet safe during a workout and to avoid foot-related injuries is to be mindful of how often you put excessive impact forces on your feet. See to it that you balance that with foot-specific exercises and foot recovery.
For example, when you’re doing different types of workouts, try to switch up your cardio with yoga and other low-impact exercises. Once you do this, don’t forget to listen to your body and know your limits.
If your feet hurt, opt for a modification or pull back. The more you exercise with an injured foot, the longer it’ll take to heal. This can put your fitness goals further behind. Not only it’ll delay the healing process, but also it can make your injuries worse.
Use Workout Equipment Properly
Never try any shortcuts or be lax when you’re using equipment and ensure to practice good body posture. Also, make sure that your feet are in contact with the machines to provide stability for ligaments and tendons. If you don’t know how to use the gym equipment properly, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from your gym instructor. To keep your feet safe while working out at home, search for video tutorials to know how to use gym equipment properly and more safely.
Know Your Foot Type And Size
Visiting stores that sell running shoes can be a good idea to determine the right size of your foot. Over time, the feet tend to get wider and change. If you have had kids, your feet might have gone up a size. The simplest way and the key to knowing your real foot size are getting your feet measured.
Determine whether or not you have a high arch or a flat foot. This will also help you keep your feet safe – you’ll be able to get the support you need for your activity and choose the right shoe with a proper combination of cushioning for stability.
Choose The Right Socks
While shoes are essential, there’s another culprit as to why people experience foot problems and that is due to wearing the wrong types of socks. Since socks provide a cushion between your shoes and skin, they can cause or prevent caution that results in injury or irritation.
If your socks are thick, too tight, rough in texture, or too loose, that friction may multiply and can also increase your risk of foot injuries. The best solution is to look out for a sock with cushioning on the sole. Socks with new microfiber fabrics are also a great option to remove moisture, which can lead to foot odor, blisters, fungus of the nails, and skin fungus.
Socks must be white if you’re suffering from diabetes. Some people think that using white socks is much better than colored socks, but the real reason behind it is that white enables you to see if there’s a problem. Any stain on your socks, either yellow-tinged fluid or blood or clear liquid may indicate that there’s something wrong even though you can’t feel it.
Keep Bacteria At Bay
Other than using clean and dry socks for every workout session, it’s also crucial to protect your feet from bacteria and fungus that make the moist and warm gym environment their home.
To keep your feet safe, never go barefoot at the gym. Instead, try using water shoes to give a strong barrier between harmful pathogens and your feet. If you have a crack, cut, ingrown, or scrape toenail, use a bandage to cover it and keep the bacteria from entering.
Keep Your Feet Clean And Dry During Exercise
Although you do your best to keep your feet safe, you might want to ensure that they’re clean to avoid fungus, bacterial viruses, or stinky feet syndrome. Wearing a waterproof sandal or flip flops when you rinse off or shower after a workout at the public locker room is vital.
Some tips you can consider are as follows:
- Dry your feet after showering with a clean towel
- Use an antifungal foot powder if you shower at the gym
- Check your feet for blisters, cuts, bruises, or spots regularly
- Keep your toenails cut
- Wear socks daily
Never Ignore Pains And Aches
During any workout session, it’s easy for some to hurt their feet, particularly if you’re new to working out or you’re wearing a pair of shoes. The cardio workout involves pounding and impact placed on the feet and without good support, you can feel a few pains and aches that will get worse in the long run once not addressed immediately.
Once you start to experience pain, you must stop your workout. You might think sticking it out could make you stronger, but you’re actually doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t keep your feet safe. It won’t only make your foot throbbing, but also you might not be able to finish your workout the way you could with healthy feet.
When To See A Doctor
In most cases, once you experience foot injuries, the question of whether you must see a doctor will arise. If you’re experiencing mild pain or the injury is due to overuse, it must go away on its own for several weeks, but you have to rest.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions, have pain affecting both feet, or have severe pain, it’s best to seek medical advice. The other signs that you should consult a doctor include:
- Tingling, burning pain, or numbness experienced in the injured areas, which can indicate nerve damage.
- Swelling that doesn’t subside within a day or two.
- Feeling pain on a regular basis even if the injury happened several weeks ago.
Not seeking medical attention can lead to poor balance, infections, and strain on other body muscles. It may also lead to permanent damage that requires more than a rest or a cold compress to fix.
It is very important that you keep your feet safe during any kind of workout session. If you always perform exercises without keeping the safety of your feet in mind, you might not be able to enjoy your workout for a few days or weeks depending on your foot injuries. So, if you don’t want this to happen, make sure to remember all of the above tips to keep your feet safe during a workout and reach your fitness goals in no time.