When it comes to exercise, there’s nothing quite like the endorphin-rich thrill of running. While it might take an adjustment period to associate cardio with a positive sensation, those who love the activity know just how beneficial it is for the mind and body. Unfortunately, however, if you’re not training correctly, you could end up injuring your feet. Whether you use a treadmill or the great outdoors, use these foot care tips to ensure that pain doesn’t inhibit your passion.
3 Essential Foot Care Tips for Runners
1. Train Strategically
Just getting started with this health-conscious habit? Don’t push yourself too hard. Just because you ran a nine-minute mile in college doesn’t mean you should start at that level now. For mileage, start by running at a comfortable pace for about ten to 15 minutes, and see how far you get. Every week, set a new goal for mileage, such as half of a mile more, so you consistently raise the bar for yourself.
2. Take Time to Stretch
When you run, you work out muscles throughout your entire body, from your calves to upper back. Therefore, you need to take time before and after each session to stretch out these muscles. Stretch your hamstrings and back by sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you, flex your feet, and try to grab hold of your toes. Stretch your quadriceps by standing up and bringing each heel to your buttocks, then holding it there for 30 seconds on each side. Stretch your calves by pressing against a wall and doing a small lunge, while trying to press each rear heel to the ground.
3. Pay Attention to Your Body
As you run, try to forget that mantra: “No pain, no gain.” If you feel any pain in your feet or ankles, slow down and walk for a bit. Roll your feet along the ground from heel to toe to try and stretch out your arches. If you don’t feel any pain when you go back to a jog, you may have just had a muscle cramp. However, if you still feel a shooting pain in your arches, heels, or ankles, seek medical help before returning to the trail or the treadmill.
If you want to learn more about foot care as a runner, get in touch with Aquilar Foot Care Clinic of Russellville, AR. This River Valley center is led by board-certified podiatrist Danny J. Aquilar, who will personally assess your foot health and provide a measured diagnosis. Whether you’re dealing with an ankle sprain or a heel spur, Dr. Aquilar will do everything he can to get you back in action. To learn more about his services, call (479) 890-3668 to schedule an appointment.