How To Protect Your Feet As An Athlete
You use your feet every day, so this particular area of your body clearly gets a lot of use. Being smart about how you treat your feet can help prevent unnecessary injury, and this is especially true if you play sports. Many sports can put extra strain on your feet and ankles as you cut back and forth across the field, court or other playing area. If you want to give your feet (and ankles) the support they need, here are a few tips that might help.
Get the Right Footwear for Each Sport
If you play more than one sport, make sure you invest in the right kind of footwear for each one. Low cut running shoes might be fine while training for a marathon, but these kicks are not idea if you are playing basketball. Basketball shoes usually rise a bit higher up towards the ankle in order to provide more structure and protection as you pivot and cut up and down the basketball court. If you take pride in being a weekend warrior and enjoy playing in many different kinds of sports, then it is likely worth it to make the financial investment in multiple types of shoes.
Stretch Before and After
Many athletes manage to stretch out their arms and legs a bit before competition, but there are stretches you can do for your feet and ankles as well. Practice gently rolling your foot in a circular motion while holding your leg in the air. Put your heel up on an incline and gently push down towards the ground while bending over to stretch you back heel and a bit of your hamstring. Stretching after hard competition can also help your feet and ankles begin recovering from a rough workout.
Don't Forget to Rest
If you are always on your feet and always participating in a high impact sport, you are going to be at greater risk of developing a stress fracture or worse. Even if you enjoy working out every day, try and pick one or two days a week where you engage in activities that won't put as much impact on your feet and ankles. For example, instead of plodding heavily on a treadmill, take one day a week and practice running in a pool while holding onto the sides. You'll still get a workout in for your legs without accumulating additional wear and tear on your feet.
If you have a lingering foot or ankle issue that won't go away, contact a foot and ankle specialist or visit a site like http://www.elmhurstpodiatry.com.