Don’t forget your feet in fitness plan

Don’t forget your feet in fitness plan

by Angela Davis

Saturday, January 02, 2016

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I’m sure many of you have made resolutions to get fit in 2016. This is fantastic and an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

However, before you pull out those worn-out, old sneakers from the back of your closet, I will highlight the importance of wearing the right sports shoes and taking care of your feet as part of your fitness plan.

Suddenly taking on a sporting activity can put a lot of pressure on your ankles, knees, hips, and back. Getting the right shoes can help to reduce the risk of injury and keep you comfortably on track to achieve your goals.

It is important to note that when we run, our body weight is multiplied by at least three, with the feet taking the brunt of the stress and pressure. For example, an average-sized man can process 112 tons of weight through each limb for every mile run.

Whether your choice of exercise is aerobics, jogging, running, or hitting the gym, here are some tips to keep the feet fighting fit.


1. Always warm up and stretch before undertaking any form of exercise. Always warm down and stretch at the end of a session.

2. Choose the correct footwear for the sport. If running or walking, the sneakers should have adequate cushioning for shock absorption especially around the heels. They should be very flexible, allowing the foot to bend through each step.

Sports like tennis, basketball and aerobics involve sideways stepping, so require more lateral support. If you are training every day, ideally you need two pairs of sneakers that you should alternate.

Choose a reputable manufacturer from a reputable store. Many fake sneakers are on the market and these are not fit for function.

Follow the one-centimetre rule when purchasing sports footwear. There should be a one centimetre gap at the top of the sneakers when laced up, to ensure they don’t pinch or rub the toes.

3. Always wear socks to reduce the risk of blisters and fungal infections. Specialist socks can be bought that absorb sweat and keep the feet dry. They tend to be made of synthetic materials rather than cotton.

4. Blisters are a common sporting injury. If one occurs do not pop it as you may introduce infection to the area. Usually they reduce on thier own. Otherwise, seek medical advice.

If you have a vulnerable part of your foot that tends to blister easily, anti-blister plasters may be required when you are active.

Happy New Year and happy exercising!

Angela Davis BSc (Hons) DPodM MChS is a podiatrist with offices in Montego Bay (293-7119), Mandeville (962-2100), Ocho Rios (974-6339), and Savanna-la-Mar (955-3154). She is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom.


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