How often do you think about your feet?
For being the base of every stride we take, way too many people barely pay any attention to their feet. Day after day, mile after mile, our feet propel and move us along.
Our feet absorb more force during running than any other part of the body and, unless you trip and fall, they are our single point of contact with the ground. Our feet are overworked, overlooked and tired. They ache, blister, crack and peel. More often than we'd like to admit, they smell. After the knee, the foot is the most frequently injured body part. Pain and issues in your feet can lead to pain and injury in other areas of your body such as your shins, knees, and hips. It's no surprise, you need to treat your feet.
As a running specialty business, we see a lot of feet and hear about all kinds of foot issues so we put together a few tips to help keep your feet healthy and feeling good:
Proper shoes are essential in keeping your feet healthy and pain free. Too many people are putting on shoes that are too small, too tight, or do not serve the purpose of how they are being used. Our shops, like most running specialty shops, offer free shoe fittings and gait analysis to help find the right shoe for you.
Do not underestimate the importance of what you wear on your feet whether you're walking, running, or just hanging out at home. The shoes you wear when you aren't running are just as important as your running shoes.
2. Buy quality socks.
Invest in socks that are lightweight, breathable, and made from sweat wicking materials to keep your feet dry and reduce friction. Double check the sizing before you leave the store, a poor fitting sock will move around in your shoe causing blisters and discomfort. Clean out your sock drawer and remember - just say no to 100% cotton socks.
3. Strength train.
Post run you stretch and roll your hips and legs, but what about your feet? Our feet are like any other part of the body with muscles that need stretching and strength training. Weak feet can not only increase the risk of injuries to your feet but also other areas of the body by altering your gait. Fortunately there are easy ways to strengthen and stretch your feet:
- Toe Raises
- Toe Abduction
- Toe Lifts
- Toe Flexor Stretch
- Foot circles and points
- Roll a massage ball (or water bottle) under your feet
- Scrunch a towel or pick up pebbles with your toes
- Spend more time barefoot
For week 8 of our Summer Challenge, we want to see your feet. Seriously! Show us how you treat your feet by posting a photo on instagram with #runlocalphl and tag us @phillyrun.
Congratulations to the winner of week 7: