How much do you trust a wobbly chair, or a thin and flimsy shelf, to hold weight? They can do their job to a certain degree; however, you probably shouldn’t trust an unstable foundation with something fragile or heavy. You don’t want your body’s foundation—your feet and ankles—to be weak or unstable, either. Your lower limbs support you and keep you upright. They can also be very telling about your health. Many conditions that can seriously affect your general health and quality of life show early symptoms in your lower limbs. On the other hand, fit feet are happy feet, and happy feet let you go about your business and activities pain-free.
The Power of Fitness
Whether you enjoy exercising or you hate it, intentional fitness is one of the most effective strategies for investing in your feet. Exercise improves blood flow, encourages muscle growth, and helps to increase physical balance and stability. In some cases, stretches and exercises, especially for your toes, can help you recover from injures more quickly or prevent an overuse condition from occurring in the first place.
Becoming More Active
You have so many options to be more active, whether you’re looking to improve your general health or simply love a particular activity. Like anything in life, some endeavors are harder on your body than others. Work with your health care team to determine what activities are appropriate for your personal health and fitness levels, and how to avoid injuries to your lower limbs when you can.
General Information - Exercise isn’t just for your heart or to bulk up your muscles. It has an effect on every part of your body, including your lower limbs. When you begin a new fitness program, be sure to consult a foot specialist like Dr. Victoria Melhuish to prevent foot or ankle injuries.
Aerobics - Aerobic exercises work the cardiopulmonary system, or your heart and lungs together, which improves your circulation and breathing. That in turn increases the amount of blood—and thus energy and nutrients—to your lower limbs.
Cycling - Another activity that works your heart and lungs, cycling tends to put unique stresses on your feet and ankles. Peddling doesn’t have hard impacts that can damage the structures in your lower limbs, which makes it an excellent choice for someone who wants to work out but has trouble with aching feet.
Jogging and Running - Running of all kinds is an excellent form of exercise. It works all the structures in the feet and ankles, along with encouraging good circulation. The hard impacts can take a real toll on your lower limbs, however, so you should approach running slowly, and build you endurance for the sport over time.
Recreational Sports - Activities like tennis and golf can be played on competitive teams, but many people choose to play them in their free time for recreational and health purposes. They encourage lower limb stability as well as good general health.
Team Sports - Strong and stable feet are a must in high pressure situations such as team sports. Activities like basketball, football, baseball, and soccer require sudden starts, stops, side-to-side movements, jumps, and more. They can put you at high risk for some very painful injuries; however, they also help you build muscle and stay in shape.
Walking - This is both one of the simplest and one of the most beneficial activities you can do. Even if you aren’t in good shape and struggle with foot weakness or pain, a short walk can still help your circulation and build your strength.
Fitness for your feet is, of course, more than just general exercising, though that is a large part of it. Wearing the appropriate shoes when you work out, or whenever you’re going to spend an extended period of time standing or walking, is crucial. Worn or poorly fitted footwear can stress your foot structures and lead to injuries.
Fitness with your feet in mind is important. Paying attention to your lower limbs when you’re active can help you avoid injuries and enjoy your exercises. If you struggle with pain or weakness when you work out, or if you have any other foot or ankle discomfort, don’t ignore the problem. Contact the experts at Sierra Foot and Ankle in Carson City, Nevada for an appointment or more information, and find a solution to your pain. Visit the online contact page, or call (775) 783-8037 to reach us.