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Walking More Often Now? Pay Attention to Your Feet!

Posted by Doreen Dann, RN, BSN, MHA, August 17, 2020

Some of you are avoiding gyms right now, and many gyms are completely closed. For those who are more vulnerable to severe effects of Covid-19, a gym probably isn’t where you want to be anyway. Close contact with other people, and touching surfaces that have been touched by many other people, aren’t the best activities for anyone during a disease outbreak.

But exercise remains extremely important to overall health, both for preventing chronic disease and to protect against depression and anxiety. That’s why many people are switching from gym workouts to simple outdoor activities such as walking. But if your feet or legs hurt, you should take the following steps to protect yourself and hopefully solve the problem.

Get a proper shoe fitting. Visit an athletic shoe store, staffed with professionals who understand proper fit. A shoe that fits correctly will often solve minor discomforts during or after exercise.

Correct your gait. Sometimes pain from walking or jogging can be the result of an incorrect gait. Make sure you’re striking the ground with the heel, then rolling through the ball of your foot and pushing off of your toes. Your stride should feel comfortable, with steps neither too long nor too short. Often when we slow down and pay attention to our gait, we can correct minor problems that cause discomfort over time.

Address back problems. If your spine is misaligned, this can affect your posture and therefore your gait. Visit a chiropractor or other spine specialist to correctly diagnose and remedy any problems with your spinal alignment.

See a podiatrist. A foot specialist can diagnose specific problems with your feet, such as plantar fasciitis or bone spurs that can cause pain when walking. Or, you might simply need to try specially designed orthotic inserts for your shoes. These inserts can correct issues caused by a high or low arch and can help those who suffer from chronic arthritis as well.

Taking care of your feet might seem like yet another errand to perform, but you will be glad you addressed foot pain. Taking these simple steps can help you feel more comfortable, make exercise more enjoyable, and therefore help you ward off more serious health complications.

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