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New Year, New feet

Thanksgiving is synonymous with food; Christmas with gifts. And the New Year? With resolutions to lose weight, of course. The month of January sees more people signing-up for gym membership than any other month. In fact, multiple surveys found exercising more as the most common New Year’s resolution. While committing to a healthier lifestyle is great choice, a sudden increase in physical activity can cause foot and ankle injuries. So, don’t neglect your feet while following through on your way to fulfilling your New Year’s resolution.

Slow Down:

Ignore all those gym ads demanding you to give maximum effort. Start new exercise regimen slowly. Increase your stamina and workout time gradually to avoid overuse injuries like stress fractures or sprains. Stretch your muscles before and after workouts to help prevent these common injuries. If you jumped feet first into your workout and injured your foot or experiencing foot pain, seek treatment right away at one of our six convenient locations. Untreated or repeated injuries to the foot can lead to chronic ankle instability, a condition that causes constant pain and ‘giving away’ of the ankle.

Proper Foot Protection:

Before stepping on a Stairmaster, running on a treadmill, or the weight room, make sure you are wearing well-fitted athletic shoes designed for physical activity. According to our podiatrists, shoes without adequate arch support and cushioning can cause plantar fasciitis. Tight shoes can cause a neuroma—a thickening of nerve tissue—in the foot, which may require injections, medications, or physical therapy. Shoes get so much attention that socks become an after-thought. Wearing socks too big can not only ruin your workout, but cause instability. On the other hand, socks that are too small can expose your heel and cause blisters that could become infected.

If you are having issues with footwear, make an appointment with Ankle & Foot Specialist of NJ to discuss custom orthotics.

Beyond Footwear:

Sweaty shoes, gym showers, exercise equipment, pool decks, exercise mats, and yoga studios are a haven for fungi, viruses, and bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Never go barefoot in public areas, especially public places like your gym. Despite the sanitary wipes they provide, your gym is not a sanitary place. Your feet may have cuts and cracks in the skin not visible to you or ingrown toenails that can expose you to infections. If you have a cut or scrape that has become red or swollen after going barefoot while working out, do not hesitate. Make an appointment with a podiatrist immediately to prevent further complications. 

Be sure to take precautions to protect your feet at the gym and don’t let foot injuries stop you from fulfilling your fitness resolutions.

Rohit Lanez-Sharma

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