At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we are firm believers in the benefits of regular exercise for your feet, lower extremities and the rest of your body. Warm temperatures and longer days can make it easier to keep an outdoor fitness activity going during the summer, but the season also presents special challenges. Below are some tips to help you avoid foot and ankle injuries while exercising this summer.
Stretch it Out—most patients know they should stretch before and after exercise, but some are confused as to which type of stretches to do when. Static stretches of the quads, hamstrings, etc. should only be done after muscles are warmed up. Dynamic stretches such as ankle circles or swinging your legs back and forth should be done lightly and briefly before exercising.
Be Cool—avoid working out during the hottest periods of the day. Aim for early morning or early evening when it’s cooler. When you’re done, find a shady spot to wind down. Drink lots of water to ensure that you stay hydrated. It will keep your body cooler and also help reduce the risk of swelling of the feet and ankles.
Get the Right Stuff—be sure to wear the right shoes for the activity you are doing. Flip flops won’t cut it for any type of physical activity other than walking from your lounge chair to the changing area or restroom. Be smart about what you do too. Always start out gradually and work up slowly to a more intense routine of longer duration. If the heat or sun is making you feel unwell, stop.
Deal with Injuries Promptly—if your muscles are sore after working out, icing will usually help. If you have a chronic foot or ankle problems such as plantar fasciitis or weak ankles, talk to our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas about the best types of exercise and the proper footwear to accommodate your podiatric problem. If you injure your foot or ankle, make an appointment as soon as possible at our Cromwell office by calling (860) 632-5499. In the meantime, use the RICE regimen—rest, ice, compression and elevation—to treat your injury until you can be seen by the doctor.