Altered activity and wearing different footwear happened for some of us overnight. This has led to more sitting, taking up cycling or running, or bursts of aerobic exercise following Joe Wicks. Sudden changes will lead to aches and pains, but could also lead to more long term foot problems ie. plantar fasciitis.
Increased sitting leads to general stiffness and tightening of muscles, particularly hamstrings and calf muscles. This in turn can lead to heel pain which can easily become chronic. Simply getting up at regular intervals to stretch and move will help, and going for a stroll is better still. If you have more time on your hands just now, why not try virtual yoga or Pilates sessions as a way of increasing strength and flexibility.
Suddenly taking up running may seem a good idea, but unless you have fantastic athletic genes, beware! Running uses muscles differently to walking , and it takes time for your body to get used to excess loading.
Try using NHS couch to 5K, which is a free download, and running shoes are essential for providing support and cushioning. If running isn’t for you, try energetic walking instead, as this is grossly under rated as an effective form of exercise. There are many free apps which help you to set goals and provide motivation e.g. Nike Run Club
Changes in footwear can have quite a detrimental affect on your biomechanics. Suddenly changing from a solid, supportive work shoe to slippers/ flip flops/ bare feet can cause pain in feet and legs. If you normally use orthotics, don’t forget to wear them some days, or else the symptoms they were prescribed for will return.
At a time when we are all susceptible to low moods and anxiety, being able to move is paramount to good physical and mental health. In the coming months, podiatrists will be needed more than ever to help with foot problems, and we will do our best to keep people moving and pain free. If it’s your feet that are preventing you from being mobile, please call us.