Walking is one of my most favorite ways to exercise and such a wonderful way to exercise. With the arrival of spring, it’s the perfect way to get out and enjoy the sunshine and weather while adding physical activity into your day.
If you experience foot pain in your arches, heels, or toes from walking, you could be missing out on the full benefits walking provides. In this article, I share with you several ways to avoid foot pain.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying around extra weight adds a more significant burden on your feet and knees as you step throughout the day. As our body’s built-in shock absorbers, that’s a lot of pressure on those babies. Maintaining a healthy weight can help ease that burden.
If you want to see what a difference a few extra pounds makes on your feet, walk around for a minute. Now grab something heavy like dumbbells, books or even a bag of dog food and do that same walk. You can probably feel the difference in how your feet and knees feel and your breathing should be slightly heavier.
The good news is walking is an excellent form of exercise to lose excess weight.
Fun Foot Fact: The average person walks 110,000 miles in their lifetime.
Flex Your Toes
Pain from plantar fasciitis is estimated to affect 1 in 10 people at some point in their life. This simple little technique can help if you deal with plantar fasciitis. Lay a shirt or washcloth flat on the ground and using just your toes, try to scrunch it up under your foot. Doing this with each foot can help build and strengthen the weak muscles in your feet.
Fun Foot Fact: Each foot has 19 muscles.
Stretch Those Calves
Limbering up can help prevent heel and arch pain. Here’s an easy heel raise exercise you can do anywhere.
Stand holding onto a table or with your hand on a wall for balance and support. Keeping toes on the ground, slowly rise onto your toes then lower your heels back onto the ground. Do this 10 to 15 times. Next, while keeping your heels on the ground, slowly lift your toes up then lower them back down. Again, do this 10 to 15 times.
Fun Foot Fact: The average woman walks 3 miles more per day than the average male.
Take Care of Your Toe Nails
Here’s a fun way to avoid foot pain — get a pedicure! Trimming your toenails helps prevent ingrown toenails which is a common cause for foot pain. If a pedicure isn’t on the agenda for you today, you can follow this guideline when clipping your nails: with nail clippers, trim them straight across and not in an arch.
Fun Foot Fact: The tendency for ingrown toenails can be inherited.
With water, that is. Dehydration is a common cause of foot cramps which can strike suddenly and be quite painful. Cramps happen when a muscle in your foot suddenly squeezes and can’t relax. Staying hydrated, especially on hot days or when exercising, can help prevent cramps.
When you experience a foot cramp, try this tip to help the muscle relax. Gently stretch the muscle by flexing your foot then rub the tissue as you stretch.
Fun Foot Fact: Your feet can produce half a pint of sweat in a single day.
Wear Shoes That Fit
Not only do you get to have a pedicure today, but you also get to go shoe shopping. Yes! Seriously though, wearing ill-fitting shoes can be a significant contributor to foot pain. And it’s not just your heels that can be causing the problems. It includes your sneakers and casual shoes, too.
If you want to prevent foot pain, your shoes should be the right shape and size. Feet are biggest at the end of the day so the next time you go shoe shopping, try going later in the day. Also, choose shoes with good cushion and support, so you don’t end up with sore or fatigued feet.
One thing to note is that your feet can change multiple times throughout the years. For example, your feet can change size and shape during pregnancy. So, if you start feeling foot pain, check to see your shoes still fit correctly.
Fun Foot Fact: 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet.
Bonus Tip for Foot Pain Relief
If you’ve done all you can and you still experience foot pain, try a foot bath. Soaking your feet in a warm water bath is a lovely way to relax and relieve your feet of aches and pains.
A few drops of essential oils in your foot bath can provide added relief. Lavender essential oil is great for relieving joint and muscle pain.
Fun Foot Fact: The skin on the soles of your feet is thicker than anywhere else on your body.
Solutions for Foot Pain
There you go, you now have several ways to avoid foot pain in your arsenal. I hope they help you find relief from foot pain.
Do you experience foot pain? What do you do to help ease the pain? Share in the comments. I’d love to know.
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