Staying active is a great way to make a positive change in your lifestyle. But depending upon a variety of factors, you could be experiencing pain in your heels during and/or after your exercise routine. This can easily be prevented by following six steps before your planned activity:
1. Make sure you’re wearing quality shoes. Sure, the ones on sale at your local shoe store may have seemed like a good idea, but if the shoes are poorly made, your feet are going to suffer the consequences. When shopping for shoes, make sure they fit well, give plenty of support and provide comfy cushioning, all while suiting your foot type.
2. Consider customized orthotics. While wearing the right shoes can help, sometimes it’s just not enough to keep the pain at bay. Talk to your podiatrist about ordering custom orthotics, which will be made to perfectly fit your feet and give you the support you need most. They also fix structural and gait abnormalities, which can cause pain in the feet.
3. Don’t overlook the importance of a good warm-up session. Many feel as if the warm-up stage of a workout is pointless. But getting your body prepared for the activity it is about to endure is always the best method when it comes to avoiding pain during and after exercise. Stretch your Achilles tendon and your calf muscles, and you’ll see a difference.
4. Slowly add onto your exercise routine. Don’t overdo it too soon; slowly build upon your exercises. Work on a certain area at a certain pace, and then build up over time so your body isn’t immediately placed under extra stress due to adjusting to too much at one time.
5. Switch up the routine. Excessive stress in repeated patterns can add to plantar fasciitis, so incorporate new activities into your workout regime, such as yoga, swimming, biking, etc.
6. Don’t ignore the warning signs your body gives you. If you’re in pain, stop. Your body is trying to tell you something! Don’t push through it, thinking it’s nothing major. Get your rest when your body calls for it; this will prevent the risk of an even more serious injury down the road.