As spring is approaching and the weather is warming, most people are more inclined to get outside and ramp up their exercise routine again. There’s nothing better than being outside in the fresh air going for a walk or run. There are some things to keep in mind when doing this though to make sure you avoid any injuries!
- Be sure to gradually increase your activity levels. If you haven’t done much over winter, then trying to go for a run every day (for example) is not a good idea. This will overload your tissues and lead to injuries. It’s important to allow rest days in the week, and slowly increase your distance or time covered during activity/movement.
- Make sure your shoes are in good condition and not too worn out! If they are worn out, it means your foot won’t be adequately supported. This can lead to aches and pains and possibly the development of injuries.
- Participate in strength training 2-3 times per week. Strength training is so beneficial in so many ways.
Strength training can be tailored to suit any individual and their abilities. You can target all areas of the body, including your feet! Feet have become so dependent on shoes that we have lost the strength of all of the tiny muscles in the foot that provide stability and postural control. Think of humans like a building, we need the foundation (our feet) to be sturdy and strong.
If we target all areas of the body, not only are we going to be moving better in general, our feet will be acting in a much more efficient way.
You don’t have to be injured or in pain, or training for anything in particular to do strength training as it has many other benefits.
- Reduces injury risk across all ages
- Lowers risk of falls – by having the strength and stability to balance yourself and confidence to keep active
- Improves heart health – can reduce blood pressure, and strengthen the heart and blood vessels
- Assist with management of blood sugar levels in people with diabetes – sugar is removed from the blood and sent into the muscles
- Improves bone strength – weight bearing exercises trigger the production of bone reducing chances of osteoporosis and fractures
- Improves brain health and mental health – by releasing endorphins and increasing blood flow to the brain.
All of these things listed above, are either directly or indirectly associated with foot health. Strength training is an all-round great form of exercise with so many benefits, especially on the foot.
Pro Podiatry SA, Samantha Hannaford, Podiatrist