Foot care is an essential routine for all sportsperson. Being an athlete is a tough job, be it the constant fitness, numerous hours of practice or just honing your craft in general. As a sportsperson, you do everything possible to be at the peak of your form at all times; from eating the right food to maintain a healthy lifestyle to getting enough sleep at night.
But, what about your feet? Learning how to take care of your feet will not only pump up your training routine and reduce visits to your podiatrist, it will improve your comprehensive athletic performance as well.
Let us look at a few pointers that will help you achieve the same:
#1. Choosing The Right Footwear Is Foremost
Finding the perfect fit of sport-specific shoes can be a time-consuming job, but it is vital to your foot health. Make sure you choose the shoes that are comfortable and have enough room left for your feet to breathe. Wearing the right shoes will help you prevent pain and any possible subsequent injuries.
#2. Pushing Yourself Will Only Cause Harm
Nothing good can come out of pushing your body to extremities, so it is necessary to know when to stop. There is a long list of serious problems that are involved with high strain on your feet like sprains, Achilles tendonitis and heel spurs. Hence, taking gradual breaks in between your training sessions is imperative, especially in case you’re experiencing pain.
#3. Follow A Steady Warm-Up And Stretching Routine
A good warm-up routine followed by a couple of stretches can prevent sports-related injuries, as it increases your flexibility.
#4. Calluses And Corns Need Proper Damage Control
Caused due to constant pressure and friction, calluses and corns need to be taken care of. Calluses are hardened dead skin cells that occur on soles while corns form on your toes. You are advised not to apply antiseptic creams that you buy right off drugstores until instructed to do so by your physician.
#5. Pedicures Can Prove To Be Your Best Friend
Well, we know you might be confused, but pedicures aren’t all about making your feet look beautiful. Pedicures exfoliate the skin, prevent ingrown nails, promote blood circulation and decrease any chances of infection while being incredibly rejuvenating.
#6. Control The Urge To Pop Blisters
Blisters are caused due to the fungus that usually grows in moist and warm areas. Walking barefoot near contaminated areas, swimming pools or just taking a stroll on a wet grass bed can make you prone to blisters. Well-fitted shoes and good quality socks can prevent it, however, if you do get one, don’t pop it as it will spread the infection. Instead, cover it up with a band-aid.
#7. Pick Your Socks Wisely
Padded socks made with synthetic fibre blend have moisture-wicking properties which are recommended for all athletes as they prevent friction and blisters. Right fit, comfort, and fabric thickness are the additional key points of consideration.
#8. Stay Conscious About Any Injuries
It is important to be wary of any injuries while performing any athletic activity. So, if you start to feel pain in your feet while exercising, stop. Runners are common to experience knee, foot and calf pain. It is best to avoid pressure on your feet, and use a compression bandage around the affected area.
#9. Consider Cooling Down Your Feet
If you experience swelling or extreme heat when you run, dip your foot in chilled water or apply ice for a few minutes.
#10. Foot Massage Is A Great Way To Ensure Healthy Feet
Massages are a therapeutic way of releasing any tension, pain or stiffness you might have in your feet. In case of a muscle injury, you can consult a professional therapist who will concentrate on the specific area and help increase blood flow and reduction in joint pain.
While you may be in great shape and form, as an athlete, you need to give the same amount of attention to your feet as you do to the rest of your body. Fungal infections, ingrown nails, and dead skin end up affecting your overall performance eventually slowing you down. Daily self-inspection and regular podiatric checkups are ways to ensure you are always at the top of your game, feet-wise too!