If you’ve ever spoken with others for any length of running, chances are feet have been brought up in the conversation. Runners depend on their feet to carry them over sometimes vast distances, and that can take a real toll on their health. Plantar fasciitis, blisters, stress fractures, and missing toenails are all surprisingly common injuries in runners.
Taking care of your feet is important if you love to run, because without them you won’t be traveling very far. Here’s what you can do to keep your feet healthy and strong so they can last over miles.
Prevention is Best
If you already have an injury, the only thing left to do is let it heal. Running on injured feet will generally only make things worse, and will certainly delay your recovery. If you’re feet start to hurt after runs, it’s best to sort out what could be wrong immediately.
How old are your shoes? If they’re brand new or very old, they could be the culprit. It may also be that you’re running different due to an injury elsewhere in the body. If you’re feet are hurting, it may be best to try a new pair of shoes and see if that solves the problem.
When choosing new shoes, make sure that the shoe doesn’t slide around on your foot, and that there is enough room in the toe of the shoe. Most toenail losses come from the toenail getting pushed or rubbed against the shoe repeatedly.
Foot Maintenance With Healing Soaks
If your feet are already sore, or you simply want to keep them pampered, a foot soak can be a wonderful way to help ease soreness and improve overall health. A soak made of epson salts and Chamomile Extract can help your skin stay soft, heal wounds, and relax away the pain in your feet. If you’re missing toenails, just the Chamomile Extract may be best to avoid any stinging.
If you don’t have one already, foot baths are available that can even massage your feet at the same time, helping you get the benefit of herbs and the healing power of water all at the same time. If you don’t want to spend the money however, or don’t want another item clogging up your home, any tub big enough for your feet that holds water will work in a pinch.
Stretch Your Feet
You probably know to stretch the rest of your body in order to keep it flexible and running smoothly, but what about your feet? Just like the rest of your body, your feet can benefit from stretching to help build strength and maintain flexibility.
You can do this through toe raises, heel drops, and practicing picking up things like pencils with your toes. It may seem silly, but these exercises can pay you back when you go running again. If you need an excuse to go to a massage specialist, your feet can also benefit from massage as well.
Your feet are one of the most important parts of your body. They take the brunt of the impact with every stride you make, and they deserve the respect of quality care.