Running is one of the best forms of exercise there is. Not only does it burn a lot of calories, especially in the form of fast, but it is also something you can do outdoors with no need for a gym and access to lots of fresh air.
So, it’s safe to say that running is pretty good for your health, however, it can be harmful to your feet if you do not take care, and sore feet are no fun, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few things you can do to keep your feet healthy if you are a regular runner.
Get the right running shoes
Running shoes are a bit like the glass slipper in Cinderella, you have to find the shoe that fits perfectly if you want to make your running dreams come true. This usually means it is better to go out and buy your running shoes in person, where you can try them on, and maybe even have your foot measured and gait tested if possible.
You might also want to think about checking out Healthy Steps and their custom orthotics that are based on the shape of your foot to ensure maxim support for health and unhealthy feet when running. The better the fit, and the more support, the happier your feet will be.
Many people think that warming up before running is about getting the muscles in their arms and legs ready for the workout, and yes, that is true, but warming up and stretching is good for the feet too. Doing so will help to ensure that your tendons and muscles are as limber as possible, so you are less likely to pull sorting while you’re out on your run.
Take it slow
If you are someone who is new to running, then it is not a good idea to jump in with both feet (pun intended) if you want your feet to stay as healthy as possible, It is a good idea to start off slow ad build-up. If you run too far too soon, then you’ll end up with bluster and cramps and [pulled muscles that could all very well be avoided by building up the length you run slowly over a month or so. It might be frustrating to see such slow progress, but it will be so much better for the health of your feet if you do, and since you need your feet to run effectively, this is really important.
Don’t run if you’re in pain
This should really go without saying, but if you feel any kind of pain in your feet, whether from a blister or because your tendons feel sore, then you should not run until your feet are feeling much better. Running when you are in pain will only ever lead to more pain. And potentially a full-on injury so it isn’t worth it.
Run on a softer surface
If you are someone who frequently experienced tendon injuries or shin splints, them running on softer surfaces such as lawns and trails is a good idea as it will lessen the impact that your feet make on the ground which means injuries are less likely to happen in the first place, and less likely to be made worse if you already have them.
Wear moisture-wicking socks
If you sweat a lot when you run, and most of us do, then investing in a few pairs of moisture-wicking socks is a good idea because when feet get sweaty, they et slippy which can lead to blisters, peeling skin and even foot infections, which will make it hard for you to keep running to schedule. Bamboo socks are great but if you are unsure, ask at the local sports store to see what they think would help your feet the most in terms of running socks.
Treat your feet
After a run, fill a foot spa or bowl with warm water and Epsom salts and soak your feet for as long as possible. This will help to soothe any pains and reduce any swelling. Sit with your feet in the water for at least 20 minutes to let the Epsom salts do their thing.
Running is so good for your mind and body that rather than giving it up if it is giving your feet trouble, you should aim to improve your foto health so they can support you on your running journey instead. Good luck!