As the weather starts to warm up, many people are thinking about starting new outdoor activities. Of course, starting any new sport, activity, or hobby comes with its inherent checklist of things to watch for: new stretches, new equipment, new routines, and more. Here at Step Lively Foot & Ankle Centers, we’re focused on keeping your feet in tip-top shape!
If you’re picking up running as a new hobby, you should know that foot injuries are very common. Foot problems can stop runners in their tracks even in the very beginning phases. That’s why our expert podiatrists put together this list of five ways to avoid common running pitfalls!
- Get the right shoes! Running shoes should be comfortable, shock absorbing, and fit correctly. It’s important to try to get expert help since no two feet are alike, even your own. A sports supply shop or a specialty running store will be able to work with you to find the right shoes for your feet. They’ll check your natural gait, foot shape, shoe wear patterns, and any biomechanical issues that might be present. If you know you can benefit from orthotics, our podiatrists can create custom ones for each of your feet, so be sure to bring those when shoe shopping!
- Check your socks too! Your socks should fit snug, but not be constricting. Loose socks can cause blisters by sliding around in your shoes. Too-tight socks can constrict and cut off vital blood flow to your hard working feet. Socks can also trap moisture, which can lead to fungal infections. Choose a pair of moisture-wicking socks without bulky seams to avoid that!
- Start slow! Your body needs to get used to any new activity. If you push too hard too fast you could end up with an overuse injury such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or even a stress fracture. Keep a journal of how far you’re running or use a smartwatch/phone to track your progress and push yourself at a reasonable rate.
- Use proper technique! A running coach, a podiatrist, or a well-researched blog can help you develop proper posture and foot strike as you begin running. Running correctly will help to prevent pain and injury to your joints, and increase the longevity of your running journey. Tagging along with an experienced runner friend and getting first hand advice is also a great way to learn!
- Rest up! Taking rest days is just as important for your body as keeping it active, especially in the beginning phases. If you’re hoping to stay active on your rest days, try something low impact like swimming or yoga.
If you are looking for expert help or assessment of your feet before starting a new sport or activity, our podiatrists are here for you! Knowing your foot health is an important way to prevent common injuries and improve your performance, so set up an appointment with our team of experienced foot doctors at any of our Central Ohio offices in Gahanna, Columbus, Dublin, and Pickerington, OH. Contact us to request an appointment!