However, running is a repetitive, high-impact activity that can place stress directly on your feet because of the pressure of your body weight. Therefore, it is important, especially when you’re beginning a running routine, to keep your foot health in mind to reduce your risk of injury. To help keep your feet as pain free as possible, you should follow a few simple tips.
Get a Checkup
Before starting any exercise routine, you should talk with your doctor. While most people can begin a running regime with no problems, if you are over 45 or have any risk factors for heart disease (e.g., family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or obesity), you should get your doctor’s approval first. Also, if you recently had foot or knee surgery, you should check with your doctor before you begin running. A doctor’s visit would be a good time to discuss any foot problems you may have, like bunions, corns, arch or heel pain that may cause you pain when you begin running, to determine treatment.
Wear Running Shoes and Socks
To avoid injury and increase comfort, you should wear proper running shoes – not cross-trainers, aerobics shoes, or other athletic type of shoes – that are supportive for your feet’s structure, depending upon if you have normal, high, or flat arches. Running shoes come in different shapes, sizes, and widths, so you need to make sure they fit your feet comfortably. The shoes should fully bend at the ball-of-foot area and provide cushioning for shock absorption. When trying on shoes, visit the store in the afternoon or evening when your feet are slightly swollen.
You should wear socks with your running shoes that are designed for the season – thicker in cooler weather and thinner in warmer weather. Your socks should be made of the new moisture-wicking materials that pull moisture from the skin, so you avoid the dampness that breeds fungal infections like athlete’s foot. There are many different brands of moisture-absorbing socks; however, the WalkEzStore recommends the Thorlo brand. These socks are top of the line and will last for many years of running.
If you have any foot issues, such as bunions, hammer toe, Morton’s toe, or heel or arch pain, you should consider wearing a supportive insole, like the ezWalker® Performance Insole or the ezWalker® Basic Insole. The ezWalker® Performance Insole is custom made for each of your feet to provide you with a better bio-mechanical position – aligning your body with your feet to give you better balance, stability, and posture – with every step you run. Therefore, your feet will feel better at the end of your run.
Stretch Before and After You Run
Before you begin every run, you should stretch for about 5-10 minutes first. Perform steady, continuous stretches and avoid bouncing during the stretch. Stretching will warm your muscles, reducing the strain on them and your joints. At the end of your run, you should cool down and stretch again for about 10 minutes.
- Drink 8 ounces of water about 15 minutes before you run. Carry water with you and take a drink every 10 minutes during your run.
- If you’re new to running, walk for 30-minutes three times a week for up to three weeks before you begin running.
- Once you are ready to begin running, start and end every run by walking to reduce injuries.
- Plan to run at least three times a week, so you get into the habit.
- Amateur runners should start by running short distances until you are short of breath, or running for a few minutes followed by fast walking.
- Keep your feet and body relaxed to avoid strains.
- Run with a natural gait.
- Gradually increase the amount of time you spend running and/or the distance to prevent injury.
- Build your endurance first before you build your speed.
- Don’t run every day and vary your routine over the week between short, high-intensity runs or distance runs.
- Adjust your routine when running in the heat, on different terrains, or at different altitudes.
- Quit running immediately if you experience any pain.
By following these tips you will build your strength and endurance, developing strong legs, strong lungs, and a healthy heart. And, protecting your feet from injury – especially if you wear ezWalker® Performance Insoles.