Its summer….it’s time to bare those legs, and that means it’s also time to get some exercise to tone those legs!
Yes, walking and jogging are not just the best but also one of the most economical ways to get fitter this summer. But even these seem difficult, if not impossible, when your feet hurt. I should know. I battled foot pains all through winter and it took me a good 3 months to finally figure out what was happening.
If you’re a power walker or jogger, chances are that your feet hurt from time to time. Mine did too. But then this pain became chronic. I had pain in the back of my heel and my lower calves, and that pain only grew worse. I tried skipping my workouts a few days, and then the pain would go away. But the minute I would lace up my sneakers and start walking, it would be back. I walk outdoors and not on a treadmill, so I believe this adds to my woes.
I was suffering from Achilles Tendonitis. The Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscle to your heel, can be irritated by walking too much, especially if you don’t build up to it. Repeated flexing of the foot when walking up and down steep hills or on uneven terrain can also strain the tendon, triggering lower leg pain.
Try These Tips To Alleviate Foot Pain
Get new running shoes. Even if you never plan on running, get a pair of running shoes for your active endeavors. Running shoes are better constructed and will provide better support than walking shoes or cross trainers. Running shoes should be replaced every 300 miles and to ensure a good fit, there should be a finger’s width of space ahead of the longest toe (which may not be the big toe) to allow room for the feet to swell.
Start slow! If it has been awhile since you did any form of activity don’t overdo it the first week. Start slow and set reasonable goals rather than trying to make up for all of the days you missed in 2010.
Stretch. Focus on stretching the calf muscles. Short 15 second stretches multiple times throughout the day will prevent heel pain, a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Rolling your foot over a golf ball is a simple solution for both treating and preventing foot pain and injuries.
Listen to pain. If you have pain during or after a workout, take a break and change up your routine. Varying your workouts will help to prevent an overuse injury like tendonitis.
Get more serious about losing weight. Housing extra pounds affects your feet tremendously. Extra weight translates to extra pressure on your foot and ankle joints which can lead to chronic foot and ankle pain.
Listen to Your Feet
Remember that pain is an indicator that there is a problem. It is not a nuisance or something to ignore. If your feet are sore or are beginning to ache, take a day or two off or try some low impact exercises – like yoga or swimming, for example. A few days of recovery will serve your health better than pushing through and suffering chronic injury.