As the weather heats up and you are out and about more often, you may notice some discomfort in your feet. Whether it be in the heels, toes, ankles or arches – there are a variety of things that can trip up your stride. Here are 5 things that can help:
1. Strengthen Your Arch
A simple exercise can help you strengthen your feet (particularly your arch) if you are getting pain when you walk. The best thing you can do for them is strengthen them with toe crunches. When you are at your desk or watching TV, curl all of your toes and hold for a second before releasing. Start with 50 repetitions 3 times a day and try to work up to 150. Strengthening your arches will help reduce pain and prevent future injury.
2. Watch Your Toes
Pedicures aren’t just for the ladies! Getting your toenails properly clipped can help prevent ingrown toenails. Clip them often and shape them straight across so the toenails do not grow into your skin. Also make sure the cuticles are pushed back so the nail can grow unobstructed. Basic attention to your toes can help prevent pain caused by walking in closed-toe shoes and also prevent future infection.
3. Evaluate Your Footwear
While spring cleaning, take a moment to evaluate all of your shoes. Repair or replace any that are worn down or broken – especially in the arches and heels. Reconsider the flip flops, as they place stress on your fascia and harm your feet in the long-run. There are several open-toed solutions that hold your feet in place while giving more support.
Shoe inserts and supports aren’t just for people who are on their feet all day long. Athletes, weekend warriors and casual strollers alike can all benefit from shoe supports. Head to your local specialty footwear store and get evaluated by an expert. He can evaluate your stride, your arch, your level of activity and suggest the best insert for you. Some inserts can be very expensive, but the well-built ones will last many years and save you pain and discomfort down the road.
5. Focus on Your Calves
If you are experiencing some foot pain, try giving your calves some attention. Unexpected foot pain could mean that you have changed your stride slightly – if you have tight or weak calves, you may have likely altered your stride to lighten the load on a certain part of your calf and you are hurting your feet. Give your calves regular massages and strengthen your calves to see if it helps prevent foot problems.