In February, you think of hearts and Valentine’s Day, but it’s also time to celebrate your actual heart with American Heart Month. One important element of a lifestyle that fosters good heart health is exercise. Exercise is also beneficial for your feet. It keeps them flexible, improves circulation and can aid in maintaining a healthy weight. At Texas Foot Specialists, we believe one of the best and easiest exercises patients can do is walking.
Walking has several advantages:
It doesn’t require any special instructions
You can do it pretty much anywhere
It can be an outdoor in or indoor activity
Walking can be done alone or with others
Getting Off on the Right Foot
Walking is low-impact and that reduces the risk of joint strain and injury. However, it’s still a good idea to get checked first by our podiatrists Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller (and also your general practitioner). The foot doctor will examine your feet and make sure you have no new or developing foot problems. If you have a chronic condition such as a bunion or plantar fasciitis, the podiatrist will suggest ways to make walking more comfortable and may even prescribe an orthotic device or special padding for your shoes.
If the Shoe Fits
The only equipment you need for walking is a good pair of walking shoes. Choose walking shoes that are well-made, have good arch support and laces for the best fit. The heel counter should be snug, and your foot should not slip out of the back of the sneaker. Get your foot professionally measured. Many patients mistakenly buy shoes that are too small. The toe box should be roomy with plenty of space to freely wiggle all your toes – about a thumb’s width between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Take your time and walk around the store for a while before finalizing your decision. Remember, running shoes do wear out and replacement is recommended somewhere between 300 and 500 miles.
Listen to your feet. If you experience any pain or discomfort once you start walking regularly, contact our Pasadena (281) 991-0600, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Houston (713) 664-6677 office promptly to get it evaluated.