To have optimal health, there are things you must do – eat well, get plenty of sleep at night, and follow basic hygienic practices. Of course, being physically active on a regular basis is also essential. This is evident by the virtually countless benefits of exercise, which includes improved heart health, weight management, and improved mood.
Although exercise provides a vast array of benefits, it also always comes with a certain degree of injury risk, especially for feet and ankles. That doesn’t mean you should avoid sports and other physical activities! It simply means you should take measures to stay safe.
The good news is that most sports injury prevention measures are fairly easy to do. Further, our team is here to help with compassionate care when injuries do happen. We want you to stay safe so you can lead a healthy life and enjoy your favorite activities!
With that in mind, here are some foot and ankle sports injury prevention tips:
- Wear the correct footwear. This is a matter of both wearing activity-appropriate footwear and making sure the shoes you choose fit correctly. To avoid various injuries and medical issues, wear shoes that are neither too small, nor too large. Along with proper fit, make sure your athletic footwear has ample cushioning, robust arch support, and a sturdy heel counter (especially if you overpronate). Your feet should be snuggly cradled—when the shoes are laced up correctly—without feeling overly tight.
- Always warm up and stretch. Take some time before playing a sport or getting into the core of your workout to elevate your heartrate and prepare your muscles and connective tissues for action. You can do this with a quick, light warmup followed by some dynamic stretches.
- Ease into new activity. One of the easiest ways to sustain a sports injury is by trying to do too much, too soon. Instead of jumping right in and giving it the proverbial 110%, start new activities or running programs at an easy level and then slowly build up the intensity and duration over time.
Physical activity is essential for a healthy body (and mind), but there’s always going to be an inherent injury risk that comes with exercising. Even if you can’t eliminate all risk of injury, the above tips can certainly lower it for you.We hope you stay safe while participating in your favorite activities. In the event you do sustain a foot or ankle injury while running or working out, contact our team at Sunshein Podiatry by calling (937) 435-7477.