It’s never the wrong (or right!) time of the year to start a fitness program. Although we all know that exercise has many benefits for our feet (and the rest of our body)—maintaining a healthy weight which decreases stress on joints, building stronger bones, increasing flexibility and range of motion—it can be hard to get started. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM one of the ways we recommend, especially to patients who have been inactive for a period of time, is walking.
Walking is easy and can be done inside on a treadmill or outside. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed alone or with others and it’s free! About the only piece of equipment you need is a good pair of walking shoes.
Shoe Shopping Tips
Before purchasing new walking shoes, make an appointment at our Somers Point office for a foot examination by our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco. The foot doctor will be able to diagnose any foot conditions that you may have that would be impacted by a walking program. Another plus is that based on your unique foot and gait, the podiatrist can make recommendations about specific shoe designs that will be best for you. In some cases, a custom orthotic device may be prescribed to help correct foot issues and increase comfort. Other tips for purchasing walking shoes include:
· Go to a professional sports shoe store and have your foot professionally measured. Shoe sizes can change as we age and most people will find that they have one foot that is larger than the other. Always buy to fit the larger foot.
· Shop late in the day—that’s when your feet will be their most swollen.
· Wear the socks that you will wear when you are actually doing the walking program.
· Leave plenty of room for your toes—there should be at least a half inch between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
· If the foot doctor has prescribed and orthotic device look for a shoe with a removable insert.
· Try on both shoes and spend some time walking around the store to make sure they are comfortable. A “breaking in” period is a myth. Shoes should be comfortable—no rubbing or tight spots--from the moment you leave the store.
Want to know more about starting a walking or other fitness program and your feet? Contact us for an appointment by calling: (609) 927-4894.