Keeping a healthy body is essential, especially considering the high stress lifestyles that we have to live these days. While running is undoubtedly one of the best ways to lose weight and stay fit, it is also important to keep in mind that you need to be extra careful to avoid getting injured. This is especially true for your heels, arches, and toes, as they take on most of the abuse that goes with running.
Without proper care, your feet can suffer through an array of foot pain and common heel injuries that can impede on your ability to run. If you want to keep dashing off towards that finish line, you will have to take the necessary precautions to ensure that your feet can stay in it for the long haul, and here are just a few time tested tips to help you do just that.
1. Partner with the right shoe and support – one of the fundamental things that a runner should have is a shoe that fits perfectly, promotes the proper running form, and provides the cushion needed to support the foot. When buying foot wear, make sure to take into account the specific construction of the shoe, quality of the material size, and your unique style of running. Always keep in mind that not all running shoes are created equally. If you are not sure about what you need, it is best to buy from specialty sport shops that carry a variety of different running shoes and can give you relevant information on how one varies from another. To date, the American Podiatric Medical Association, or the APMA, has given their stamp of approval to the following brands: Puma, Ryka, Mizuno, Avia, Asics, and Reebok for their sophisticated shoe designs and engineering. Beyond the shoe, some people will need custom orthotics for foot pain control and injury recovery.
2. Do not run with a new shoe – no matter how excited you are to put on your new sneakers, it is necessary to first break them in before committing to a distance workout unless you want to have blisters all over your heels and toes.
3. Invest in quality socks – while many of us may not think much about our socks, runners need to pay extra attention to the fit and material of theirs. You will no doubt sweat a lot as you dart from one place to the next, so your foot will be building moisture the whole way, which can lead to blisters. To prevent this from happening, opt for poly-cotton socks, which are more absorbent and can provide your soles with more comfort as you run.
4. Warm up before you run – before scurrying off, always take the time to warm up and do a few stretches, especially on your lower limbs, to slowly ease your muscles into it and prepare them for the long haul ahead. If you are new to the sport, start out slowly and for short distances initially as you build your stamina to help avoid shocking your foot with too much stress.
5. Slowly build momentum – all runners, whether you are an amateur or a professional, need to learn to build their momentum by progressing from a brisk walk to a jog before going into a full run. Doing so can help avoid subjecting your tendons, ligaments, and muscles to unnecessary strain that can lead to trauma and injury.
6. Cool down after each run – just as you need to warm up before running, you also need to cool down before ending your workout by doing a few stretches for roughly 10-15 minutes. Soaking your feet in an ice bath can also help calm your nerves and prevent foot stress. As muscle pain is quite common after a run, it helps to remember the letters R, I, C and E which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These are the main four things you need to do to make sure that you won’t end up writhing in pain after a heavy workout.
Running is a great way to benefit your mind, body, and spirit all at the same time, but a sidelining injury will undo all the hard work you’ve put in by keeping you from your useful hobby until you can recover.