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Foot Health for Walkers and Runners

Dr. Annemarie Edwards, Doctor of Podiatry (foot specialist) with Intermountain Healthcare says there are some common foot problems that could affect your choice to continue or start a walking/running program.

  1. Athletes foot
  2. Blisters
  3. Fungal toenails
  4. Heel pain/plantar fasciitis
  5. Tendinitis
  6. Ingrown toenails

If you have any of the foot problems listed above, please visit your doctor before starting a walking or running program.

Before Walking/Running:

  • Get medical advice
  • Measure your feet before purchasing shoes
  • Identify any foot problems before starting the exercise program
  • Select a comfortable shoe that is made for that specific exercise program
  • Comfort is more important than brand name
  • Select proper fitting socks that are made out of the proper material
  • Begin the program slowly and gradually, allow your body to adjust to the exercise

While walking or running:

  • Notice the walking surface - rough, uneven surfaces will stress your feet more and are more likely to cause you to trip and/or fall.
  • Know your body - don't push your body too hard, especially in the beginning. Keep a comfortable pace that you can maintain for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Pain that begins with the activity should not be ignored. Get medical advice.

After Walking /Running:

  • Stretching - Gently stretch your foot muscles as you would any other body part.
  • Remove shoes and sweaty socks as soon as possible to prevent bacterial/fungal buildup
  • If you do experience pain or muscle discomfort, use RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevation for initial treatment of the sore area
  • If pain lasts for more than 7 to 10 days seek professional advice

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