Have you noticed in this unusual Covid-19 time how many people around your neighborhood are eagerly walking and/or running for exercise? With all the local gyms and general health and wellness centers closed, people have migrated outside in their neighborhoods for exercise and general physical movement. Some people are even jumping rope to increase their cardiovascular activity. People are running, jogging, power walking, cruising around, and just getting out and enjoying nature, on or off the trails. It seems easy to maintain the recommended 6-foot distance to heed government recommendations in public spaces and still see others, give a friendly nod, or even have a little chat. We all need this, especially now. Also, while at home you may not have been wearing your shoes in the house due to what you think is comfortable and/or possible contamination fears. Shoes allow for a certain amount of cushioning and support, but going barefoot on hardwood, tile, and even carpeted floors can lead to foot pain.

If you or someone you know has been maintaining their fitness (fun or regimen) during this time of quarantine and/or going barefoot much more than normal, here are four top recommendations to combat the physical stress in your feet caused by the quarantine of COVID-19 from The WalkEZstore Certified Pedorthist Kathy Carandang.

1. Stretch: (Number one best tip and does not cost you anything other than your time!)
Stand at the kitchen counter and put one leg back far enough you can put your heel on the ground then lean into the counter for a better stretch. Hold this medium intensity stretch for 60 seconds and repeat it 3 times. Repeat that sequence 2-3 x/daily for both legs. After a few days, you may find your medium stretch becomes more intense and your feet begin to feel better. You can also roll a frozen water bottle on the bottom of your feet to help flush stagnation and inflammation from your lymphatic system.

2. Custom Orthotics:
Most people do not even realize that they have dysfunctional feet. You have 3 arches in your feet, the medial longitudinal, lateral, and trans-metatarsal arches. If even one of these arches does not function at its best ability – (usually due to lack of proper support and shoe fit) it can start a cascade of issues going up the leg and into the low-back. A quality custom orthotic that is designed to get your feet to function at their biomechanical best will not only make your feet feel better but will support your whole body in a way that reduces stress and strain, aids in balance and stability, and over time will make your feet healthier and happier. There’s no better fit than a custom fit that biomechanically enhances how your feet function when it comes to proper arch support for your feet.

3. New Shoes:
Most mid-priced ($50-$80) athletic shoes come with a generic foam insert that feels good during the try-on phase but after a few hours to days of wear may not feel as good as you initially thought. The cushion materials wear out quickly and your body continues to pound the pavement with decreased support and shock absorption. However, a high-quality (yes, likely higher-priced) athletic/walking shoe will be built to last with durable and longer-lasting materials designed to withstand concrete, asphalt, and floor surfaces. Even these shoes will have a life span and need to be checked for crush and breakdown when they begin to not feel as comfortable as they did in the beginning.
FYI: A biomechanically enhancing custom orthotic like the ezWalker® from The WalkEZstore can make a shoe last longer than normal because when the foot functions better inside the shoe they do not wear out as fast – a good investment for sure!

4. Get a Physical for your feet. 
Get a movement specialist such as a Certified Pedorthist (one who is trained in feet and biomechanics) to evaluate and assess what is going on with your feet. Not all pains are created equal. Some may be the result of overuse, lack of proper support, old injuries creeping up as you get older, and simply aging. However, the most important factor is to find out where the root of the pain is coming from, and fix that, not cover it up with medications or injections which often let the pain return and/or get worse. Your feet are your foundation and with a proper foundation, the body usually responds with ease of movement which translates to less pain and discomfort. At the WalkEZstore we believe when your feet feel good you feel good! And we’ve been proving it by helping people all over the country for 10 years now with great success!

If you are one of the many taking advantage of our local streets, trails, and sidewalks to get in your activity and walking time, finding yourself wanting to continue but your feet are telling you no, WalkEZstore can help! As we maintain the CDC recommended protocols for safety during this pandemic, feel free to call 888-392-5539, ext.1 to schedule your personal appointment (in our store or via video chat), or schedule your appointment online here.