How to Protect Your Feet before and after Exercising

gfdgddssWhen you are active, your feet are constantly being used. Too much stress on your feet can cause lots of problems and make you immobile. This would be detrimental to your new workout plan or assault course you are running for charity in the coming week. As the saying goes more feet injuries, more problems….okay maybe that is not how the saying goes but I am trying to emphasise the point that your feet can withstand an enormous amount of pressure. Most of this pressure is exerted onto your feet by your body weight but when you add additional weight, force or motion; your feet may start to develop slight injuries that seem trivial at the time.

However, professional podiatrist Jenny Kirchens says that “There is a correlation between stress and a degree of lower limb swelling”. She further elaborated on this point by saying that, “You can usually tell when people are subject to chronic stress because of the general presentation of their feet”. Jenny is saying that our feet also provide additional insight into our psychology. In fact, our feet are not just a tell tale sign of over activity and mental strain, they are also fragile limbs of our body. Kirchens even believes that people are more likely to experience foot injuries than any other injury. This is because there is an increased chance of developing anomalies within your feet. These abnormalities can lead to many long-term affects that will halt your activity and deplete both your health and fitness.

To subvert the effects of stress on your feet you can do a number of things. Keep in mind that pain is the first sign of something wrong, so if you are experiencing issues with your feet, you should either consult a podiatrist or act upon it quickly.

Firstly, you should ensure that your diet is balanced. You can do this by regulating your intake of certain nutrients. To benefit your feet, you should ensure that you have a healthy amount of sugar within your blood. In regards to this, Morris Morin, the Chairman of the Department of Podiatry at the University Medical Centre in New Jersey concurs with this sentiment. He says that “when blood sugar is not under good control you can develop neuropathy. If you are lacking any feeling within your feet, this may be problematic. Numbness can prevent you from recognizing the early stages of neuropathy and its subsequent consequences”. In short, you should give your feet the best advantage possible by ensuring that you have a healthy level of sugar in your diet. Your sugar intake is even important to the regulation of your circulation. This is why many people with diabetes suffer from peripheral neuropathy. This is common among people over 50 who have pounded their feet for quite some time.

Peripheral Neuropathy or PAD develops when the host’s blood has high levels of glucose. This causes the arteries to narrow and harden. This causes the arteries to become stuffed with deposits of plaque that are created by plaque. This leads to decreased blood flow to the legs and feet. Symptoms include numbness, coldness, and tingling. If you have a slow healing cut on your foot, you are likely to be suffering from PAD.

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However, the feet are naturally harder to heal than the rest of your limbs. This is because the feet are positioned in the lower extremities and the lower extremities experience a higher level of compromised circulation. Therefore, your feet are one of the hardest limbs for your body to heal.

As well as regulating your blood sugar, you can also protect your feet through more conventional methods. A softer surface will create less impact on your feet. It is unrealistic to think that every surface you exercise on will be like a feathered cushion. Alex McGrath, an experienced personal trainer from Origym says, “I am constantly exercising, on my feet. I try to vary my client’s workouts, both inside the gym on a softer surface and outside the gym, on the grass. This not only breathes new life into activities, it also reduces foot injuries”.

Therefore, an equaliser of comfort has to be involved, such as the trusty running shoe. Sports brands adverts will have you believe that they’re technicians in white coats standing around a counter in a laboratory scientifically analysing the duration and comfort of their running shoe. The market is demanding the more practical products and brands are busy at work making a show that strikes the balance between aesthetic, protection and comfort. However, it does beg the question. If the shoe is higher in cost, is it much more comfortable?

Ken Plancher, the Director of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in New York says that choosing the correct shoe is important to ensure that your feet are not hurt during exercise. Plancher says that the most important factor to consider when choosing a shoe is its construction. If your shoe moves with the shape of your foot you are less likely to have an injury. You should also choose a shoe that provides substantial support for the sole of your foot. This will help you avoid sensitive bruising.

He even goes as far to say, “When the boat of the shoe is either too short or too long, they allow the foot to slide both forward or backward. This can damage the tips of your toes or the arch of your heel. Make sure they fit well but also allow enough room to feel comfortable”.

In summary, the body comprises of four major limbs. The feet are an extension of two of these limbs and without healthy circulation, they will falter. The productivity of our limbs rely on our blood flow and without our intervention, they will become weaker. This is why it is recommended to balance your diet so you neither have too much blood sugar or too little. If you are experiencing problems with your feet it is recommended that you consult a doctor. Your feet can provide insight into your condition. Many patients with foot problems have been diagnosed with diabetes. However, this is certainly a problem for over 50’s. If you are worried about the long-term affects of impacting your feet, invest in some protective shoes. Protective shoes will certainly prolong your activity and lead to other health benefits. It all starts and ends at the feet. This is why you should look after them.

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