Taking a vacation? Make it easy on your feet
Although rest and relaxation are the goals for most vacations, they usually involve a lot of walking and a lot of walking usually involves sore feet.
"Walking is great exercise and one of the most reliable forms of transportation," says Jessica Herzog, DPM, FACFAS, owner of Castle Rock Foot & Ankle Care. "But if your feet aren’t in the best shape or you don’t have the right shoes, too much walking can cause foot problems."
Good foot care is essential if you plan to subject your feet to long periods of walking. Some simple foot care tips include:
- Wear thick, absorbent socks (acrylic instead of cotton).
- Dry feet thoroughly after bathing, making sure to dry between toes. Use powder before putting on shoes.
- Nails should be cut regularly, straight across the toe.
- Bunions, hammertoes or any other serious foot problems should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
"The right shoe is also important to healthy walking," says Dr. Herzog. "The ideal walking shoe should be stable from side to side, and well-cushioned, and it should enable you to walk smoothly. Many running shoes will fit the bill."
There are also shoes made especially for walking. Walking shoes tend to be slightly less cushioned, yet not as bulky, and lighter than running shoes. Whether a walking or running shoe, the shoes need to feel stable and comfortable.
Warming up exercises to help alleviate any muscle stiffness or pulled muscles are also advised before walking. Loosening up the heel cords (Achilles and calf) and thigh muscles before a walk is especially effective.
"If you’re not accustomed to long walks, start slowly and rest if your feet start hurting," says Dr. Herzog. "And above all, have fun."
Contact Castle Rock Foot & Ankle Care at 303-814-1082 for more information. Dr. Herzog is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Their consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org, provides reliable information on foot and ankle conditions.