Updated: Jul 29, 2020
School is almost out, warm weather is upon us, and the sidewalks, parks, trails, ball fields, and playgrounds are increasingly filling up with runners, hikers, and athletes of every age and sport. We hope you find some time to join them—there’s nothing like exercise and fresh air to keep the mind and body strong!
What we don’t want you to do, of course, is hurt yourself. That’s sometimes easier said than done, especially if you’ve been “out of the game” for a while or you’re a few pounds overweight. Feet and ankles are squarely in the danger zone for all kinds of athletic injuries, most of which you can’t really get away with ignoring. Worse, because of the downtime required for healing, even simple foot injuries can not only keep you off the field, but often make it that much harder to start back up again.
If you want to avoid injury when you’re out playing this summer, take the following precautions:
Always warm up and cool down. This helps prepare your body for exercise and prevent cramping and pain afterward.
Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
Condition your feet and legs for exercise, with stretching, range of motion, strengthening, and balance practice. Feet and legs often get ignored in favor of other joints and muscle groups at the gym, but they’re just as important!
Start slow. New sports are fun, but don’t push yourself too hard at first. Go with what your body can handle, and only try to increase the intensity by about 10 percent per week.
Equip yourself properly. Just throwing on an old, beat-up pair of sneakers isn’t good enough if you’re planning to go for a 5K run! If you’re planning on running or playing a specific sport regularly, you should invest in a good pair of shoes specifically made for that activity.
Listen to what your feet are telling you. A little bit of soreness, or shortness of breath? Probably okay. But if you’re in pain, you need to slow down and take a breather.
If you need quick, effective treatment for sports injuries to your feet and ankles this summer, pick up the phone and call Gulf South Foot & Ankle. You can reach us in Metairie at (504) 708-4810, or in Covington at (985) 809-1464.