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2022 RESOLUTIONS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FEET FOR BETTER EXERCISING

2022 RESOLUTIONS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FEET FOR BETTER EXERCISING

Got a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise? That’s great! But let’s make sure to protect your feet! Starting a new sport or fitness program is a great way to drop weight or to improve your cardiovascular health. But when you try a new exercise or start exercising more, you put lots of pressure on your feet. And that can lead to sports injuries (National Safety Council)…unless you follow these three important tips for safely exercising!

How to Start a New Sport or Exercise

Whether you’re starting a new running program, or jumping into deadlifts and squats, caution is key. With any new movement, your body needs time to adjust. Don’t expect to get off the couch and run five miles on your first day.

Instead, start low and slow with your training. In your first week, mix running and walking and don’t go more than a mile. If that pace feels comfortable, you can slowly increase your miles or speed the next week. (The safest way to train is to limit your increases to 10%. Whether that means you run 10% farther or faster is your choice.) If walking is your new exercise of choice, check out our blog on how to start a walking workout (Very Well Fit Magazine).

Why is slow and steady the best way to try a new exercise? It gives your body (and feet!) time to adjust to new movements and time to build up the muscles that will support your activity. If you rush into a new sport at full force, you risk an overuse injury which could send you into your Podiatrists office with problems such as shin splints or heel pain.

Choosing Sport Specific Shoes

Maybe your exercise resolutions have you getting serious about one sport. If that’s the case, it’s important to wear the right shoes for your chosen activity. If you’re playing tennis or basketball more than three times a week, choose shoes specifically designed for those sports. (The same is true for cleat-based sports, such as soccer or football.)

But what if you’re just walking or hitting the cardio equipment at your gym? In this case, cross-training athletic shoes are the way to go. These are athletic shoes with forefoot flexibility, so you can run if you need to. They also have lateral support, so you can step from side-to-side in Zumba class or on the elliptical. Finally, they have good support to protect your feet from the impact of any exercise.

       

Consider Orthotics to Prevent Exercise-Related Injury

Sometimes the structure of your body (biomechanics) increases your injury risk. That means even the best athletic shoes won’t protect your feet when you exercise. If your feet are flat, if your arches are too high or if your legs are different lengths, you may need extra support. Customizeable Orthotic insoles such as SelectFlex could be your solution. SelectFlex are an entirely new type of dynamic energy returning insole that won ISHN’s award for Best Protective Footwear.  SelectFlex insoles use a patented energy returning arch lifting technology called the PowerLift Arch.  The PowerLift Arch provides the wearer with 3 energy return levels to support the arch with dynamic alignment with every step. 

This can improve your efficiency when starting a new sport, especially running. Want to learn more about keeping your fitness resolutions with the help of cutomizeable orthotic insoles? See how SelectFlex can help you meet those 2022 fitness goals!

 

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FOOT BIOMECHANICS

Characteristics & Anatomy Of The Foot

The feet are the foundation of support for the pelvis, spine and lower body. They provide the necessary stability to perform daily activities. The foot and ankle form a complex system which consists of 28 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments, controlled by 13 extrinsic and 21 intrinsic muscles. The foot is subdivided into the rear-foot, mid-foot & fore-foot and central to the success of the pedal foundation is its “arched structure”. The Arched Structure is a complex of three bony arches: the medial longitudinal arch, the lateral longitudinal arch and the anterior transverse (metatarsal) arch.(Physio-Pedia)

Arches of Foot

The 3 arches of the foot allow the foot to absorb downward forces and act as a rigid lever during gait propulsion:

  • Medial Longitudinal Arch: The most obvious arch is seen along the medial aspect of the foot. The navicular bone forms the "keystone" of this large and long arch, which is supported primarily by the plantar fascia and spring ligament. The muscles of the foot and lower leg do not provide support for the medial arch, except during toe-off when walking or while standing on tip-toe.
  • Lateral Longitudinal Arch (LLA): This arch is located along the outside of each foot and relies much less on connective tissues for its support. For this reason, proper function of the lateral arch is extremely dependent on the alignment of the cuboid bone, which is frequently found to be in need of adjustment. Proper support for this arch is at least as important as for the other two, but is surprisingly absent in many orthotics.
  • Transverse (Metatarsal) Arch: This arch extends from the metatarsal heads back to the tarsal bones, and runs from the medial to the lateral sides of the foot. At its most anterior portion, the metatarsal heads contact the ground. Poor function and loss of this arch will often result in a build-up of thick callus underneath the metatarsal heads. Recurrent "dropped" metatarsal heads and/or irritation of one of the interdigital nerves (a "Morton's neuroma") is also a good indications that this arch is not being supported properly by the plantar fascia(Dynamic Chiropractic)

Static and Dynamic Support With Orthotics

The structural design of the three-arched plantar vault is very good at supporting weight and carrying heavy loads, while remaining flexible. During normal standing, the load of the body is balanced over the center of the foot, anterior to the ankle. This places the greatest amount of load at the apex of the three arches. This force is then distributed along the "buttresses" of the arches to the heel (which bears 50 percent to 60 percent of body weight) and the metatarsal heads (which bear 40 percent to 50 percent of body weight). Loss of this configuration will result in abnormal force concentrations, which will eventually cause degenerative and symptomatic clinical conditions. (Foot Education) 

During gait, the foot undergoes substantial changes. The arches and connective tissues must sustain the stress of heel strike, then adapt to the ground during stance phase, and finally become a rigid lever to provide an efficient push-off. This must all occur in a coordinated manner, with no glitches or hang-ups. The foot must permit a smooth transfer of the body's center of mass over the leg to conserve energy and keep the work expenditure to a minimum. The heavier a patient is, the greater the stresses on the feet and ankles.

Collapse or dysfunction of any of the arches needs to be addressed with flexible yet stabilizing orthotics that will support the patient's foot both during standing (static support) and throughout the gait cycle (dynamic support), while controlling the impact forces. There is one actual insole that provides “Dynamic” support called SelectFlex which uses a patented arch lifting technology called the PowerLift Arch. The PowerLift Arch provides the wearer with 3 levels to support the arch with dynamic alignment with every step. This unique arch technology dynamically lifts your arch into a comforting sine wave motion that provides up to 89% more arch support with every step.

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