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Taking Care of Your Feet - Tools for the Everyday Athlete

Whether you are a novice or a high-level competition athlete, we all face certain challenges when it comes to working out. There are tons of workout tools on the market designed to help ease your workout, reduce the stress on the body, and aid in recovery. Unfortunately, with so many products on the market, it is almost impossible to figure out what works and what doesn't. In this article, we will discuss tools that everyone can take advantage of to make sure we are taking care of our bodies, more specifically, our feet.

Gait Analysis

Gait analysis might be on the of the most important things to do when beginning an exercise regimen. Gait analysis helps you better understand the way you walk. Every step you take is dependent on your level of flexibility, stability, and strength. Taking the time to learn your “manner of walking,” allows you to see what you should be mindful of when you walk, as well as considerations for appropriate footwear. Completing a gait analysis is usually involves having a trained professional examine your step cycle while barefoot. The simplest way to do this is at a specialty running store that offers these services. An appointment with a pedorthist can help you get an in-depth analysis of your gate as well as many other factors in your step cycle that affect your functionality. This can help you learn about what kind of shoes you should be wearing for exercise and even everyday walking.

 

Custom Orthotics
Incorrect footwear is one of the biggest problems facing athletes as well as the everyday individual. Even without putting the immense stress on the body through high impact exercise, many of us are still affected by the ailments that come with how much the feet are expected to handle daily. A tool that, when combined with the appropriate footwear, can significantly affect the health of your feet, is custom orthotics. Exercising in ill-fitting shoes, or shoes past their lifetime, puts unnecessary stress on your feet, which can lead to damage in major joints and ligaments. Custom orthotics are shoe inserts, designed to help correct abnormal walking pattern and restore proper functioning to the foot. The orthotic is customized using a cast or computerized scan that takes an imprint of your foot with pressure points taken into consideration. From the imprint, a proper orthotic can be designed that will help alleviate the pressure and pain in your feet, as well as potentially the rest of your body.

Gradient Compression Garments
Waking up after an exceptionally hard workout is never fun. The muscles ache and soreness can ruin your entire day. Luckily, there is a simple tool that can help your body recover quicker and aides in the reduction of muscle soreness. Gradient compression clothing such as stockings can help improve blood flow to the muscles in the legs by deliver a strategically controlled amount of pressure to the areas that need it most. This pressure helps improve blood flow during exercise as well as reduces swelling during recovery. Not only is this beneficial for the everyday athlete, but also for those suffering from conditions that stem from poor blood circulation. The best part about this is that, although gradient compression garments provide medical benefit, they don’t look like traditional medical equipment and can be worn under everyday clothing.

Whether a novice or an experienced athlete, everyone can benefit from a gait analysis, custom orthotics, gradient compression socks. To get the most out of your workouts, taking care of your body will go a long way in making sure you have great functionality for years to come. Don't overlook symptoms, such as sore feet, because it could be a symptom of a much bigger issue or develop into something serious.

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