It’s a month after New Year’s and, if you are like many people, you may find that you’re not feeling quite as gung ho as you were originally about making 2018 the year that you get in shape. If your sneakers are starting to collect dust and your exercise enthusiasm is dwindling, we at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC want to clue you in to some common “fitness busters” that may be getting you off track. We encourage our patients to stick with it because exercise has a number of benefits for your feet:
· Improves circulation
· Increases flexibility and range of motion
· Helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, which in turn reduces stress on your feet and lowers your risk of several foot disorders
Ask yourself if any of these issues are sabotaging your shape-up plans:
You neglected to accommodate an existing foot disorder. If you have a bunion, plantar fasciitis, flat feet, weak ankles or other chronic podiatric problem, it doesn’t mean you can’t exercise, but you may need a little extra help to make it more comfortable. Our podiatrists, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko, can examine your feet and offer ways to reduce pressure on sensitive areas with padding or a custom orthotic device for your shoes. In some cases, special stretches or foot exercises may be prescribed, or the foot doctor may suggest alternative exercise activities that will better suit your condition.
You’re not wearing the proper footwear. If you borrowed a friend’s soccer cleats or you are wearing your old tennis sneakers for a 5K running program, chances are your feet and ankles are complaining. Even if you are just starting out in a particular sport or fitness activity, it’s a good idea to go to a specialty sports shoe shop to find your footwear. Have your foot professionally measured and take your time choosing shoes that feel comfortable. Try out the types of movement required of the exercise you’ve chosen in the store and be sure you are wearing the same socks you will use to work out.
You need additional incentive. There’s nothing like a little carrot dangling to keep you focused on fitness. Set small, attainable goals—when you lose 5 pounds you’ll buy a new article of clothing, for example. Enlist a buddy to work out with you who will provide company and added accountability.