December 15, 2020
By Donald Curtis, D.P.M., FACFAS
Many of us are ready to refocus on a more disciplined exercise program, and with our great weather, we can take advantage by going outside for a walk, a hike, or a run. But before you dig out your old sneakers or hiking boots and dive into a new exercise routine, the faculty and students at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine remind you to put your feet first, to help you make your increased activity easier on your feet.
Walking is great exercise and one of the most reliable forms of transportation. But if your feet aren’t in the best shape or if you aren’t wearing the right shoes, too much walking can cause foot problems. Shoes made specifically for walking or running can add stability for your feet by providing more support.
The ideal walking shoe should be stable from side to side and well-cushioned, and it should enable you to walk smoothly. Also consider the terrain you will be walking on and select a shoe appropriate for that level of stress on your feet. Walking on an outdoor track is very different on your feet than hiking the unevenness of a mountain trail.
Before hitting the trail or track, be sure to do warm-up exercises to help alleviate any muscle stiffness or pulled muscles. Loosening up the Achilles tendon and calf and thigh muscles before a walk is especially effective. If you’re not accustomed to long walks, start slowly and rest if your feet start hurting. And above all, have fun!
During your activity if your feet feel like they are under undue stress and pressure, or if you sustain an injury such as a twisted foot or rolled ankle, see a podiatrist for an exam. The Midwestern University Multispecialty Clinic offers complete foot and ankle care along with other specialty areas including Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Visit www.mwuclinics.com/az for information on the clinics and services, or call 623-537-6000 to schedule an appointment.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not for use in diagnosing any condition. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional for questions regarding any possible medical condition.
Donald Curtis, D.P.M., FACFAS, serves as Assistant Professor at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine in Glendale, Arizona. In addition to teaching, Dr. Curtis supervises podiatry students and sees patients at the Midwestern University Multispecialty Clinic Foot and Ankle Clinic.