A big summer of sport is surely set to inspire many people to get their trainers on and get more active this year. Without doubt exercise offers many benefits but it’s crucial to make sure you are looking after your feet. Sports people require ‘Fit Feet’, so as part of The College of Podiatry’s Feet for Life Month in June, Central FootClinic is raising awareness of the importance of good foot care when taking part in sports.
Head of Podiatry at Central FootClinic, Adnan Nazir says: ‘When you run, your body weight is multiplied by up to seven times, with your feet bearing the brunt of this stress at every stride. The demands made on feet and lower limbs can lead to a range of injuries, including sprained ankles, torn ligaments, shin pain, knee pain, and joint and muscle problems.
‘The rest of your body will suffer too, if you do not have the right trainers. Wearing good supportive footwear is vital to avoid long term problems and injury. So whether walking, running or dancing, follow this advice:
- Choose the correct footwear for the sport – If running is your thing, buy a running shoe which has adequate cushioning in the midsole and a flared heel for stability. However, if it’s a racquet sport such as squash or tennis, buy shoes designed for racquet sports that give better stability when moving and stopping suddenly around the court – a running shoe wouldn’t be suitable for this due to lack of lateral support.
- Follow the 1cm rule – when shopping for the perfect sportswear ensure you can wiggle your toes a little – leave 1cm of room from the top of your longest toe to the end of your shoe. Try on both shoes and walk around the shop to make sure they don’t pinch or rub. Trying shoes on in the afternoon helps as your feet can swell throughout the day.
- Always wear socks – to reduce the risk of fungal infection and blisters. The best running socks are ones that are made from synthetic materials which are designed to keep sweat away from the skin, (such as CoolMaxÒ) as they don’t absorb moisture like 100% cotton socks, and keep the feet drier.
- Warm up and stretch – before starting any form of exercise, stretch and warm up your entire body and then stretch and cool down at the end of every session.
- Prepare your body – incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your regime to ensure that your body is in the best possible condition for exercise and sport and think about your diet – a healthy body is linked to healthy eating
- Seek expert advice if necessary – if you have ongoing foot pain that doesn’t go away, have it examined by a podiatrist.
For more help and advice on keeping your feet fit for life, please visit Central FootClinic in Derby, Nottingham and across the East Midlands. Find your local Central FootClinic
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