As an athlete, you demand quite a bit from your feet. The heavy load that you place on your feet can leave them aching and sore by the end of the day. There are also some common foot injuries that many athletes are prone to if they neglect to give their feet the care they deserve.
From irritating foot infections to painful injuries such as plantar fasciitis, there are a great many ailments that you should be defending your feet against. Sustaining such conditions can prevent you from giving your all at the gym or on the field.
In order to protect your feet and keep them feeling strong, here are three ways in which you should be caring for your feet as an athlete.
1. Choose the Right Gear
First and foremost, if you are not outfitting your feet with the proper gear, then you are not going to be likely to keep your feet in proper working form. Some sports require particular types of footwear, while gym workouts should be done in supportive and structured cross-training shoes. Whatever shoes your athletic endeavors require, you should ensure that they are fitted correctly and that they provide you with the support that you need.
You should also take particular care when choosing socks for when you are working out. There are certain socks that are specifically designed with athletes in mind. For instance, these gray athletic socks can help give you the support your feet need, as well as the comfort you want.
2. Switch Out Your Shoes and Socks Often
A common foot ailment that plagues many athletes is that of foot infections or fungus. Such problems can occur when you don’t take care to change your socks regularly and air out your shoes after every workout. Throwing your sweaty shoes straight in the closet when you get home from a workout is a sure-fire way to encourage the growth of harmful bacteria that will attack your feet the next time you put your shoes on.
After each workout, open up your shoes as far as possible and allow them to dry and air out in an open area. You can also use certain sprays and powders to help keep harmful bacteria at bay. Be sure to thoroughly clean and dry your feet after each workout as well, before putting on a fresh pair of socks and shoes.
3. Perform Strengthening Exercises
Just as you work out various muscle groups in your body to prevent injury, you should also give the same attention to your feet. Athletes who do not specifically aim to keep the muscles and joints in their feet strong are more prone to sustaining painful foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis.
There are some simple strength-building exercises that you can do for your feet that should be a regular part of your strength and fitness routine. Some require the use of resistance bands, while other are simple movements that can go a long way to helping prevent injury.