Overexerting yourself

The brain means well but sometimes it can get us into trouble. Such is the case when the brain says we are capable of pushing the envelope physically but the body isn’t quite capable. We’ve treated many foot problems because of this scenario.

When our brains push us harder than our bodies can take, it often results in foot pain and other injuries that could have been avoided if we had been more mindful of our footwear and how much we increased our activity each week. Ignoring foot pain can exacerbate the situation and cause further damage to our feet. In this blog post, we'll look at the importance of listening to the body when it says "whoa", despite what the brain might be telling you.

Pushing Yourself

Our brains have a tendency to push our bodies to achieve more than we think is possible. This can be especially true when it comes to physical activities like hiking, walking, or jogging. We often find ourselves setting lofty goals and pushing ourselves to achieve them, even if it means ignoring warning signs of pain or injury. However, this can be dangerous if we're not careful.

Take a long hike during Spring or early Summer after not walking much at all, and it can lead to discomfort in the feet.

Anything more than a 50% increase in your walking or jogging distance is likely to make your feet feel sore. Often, our feet get in our way when we have ambitious health intentions. Our feet have limitations, even if we don't want to acknowledge them. 

The general rule to follow for increasing an activity such as jogging is no more than 10% per week. 10% doesn’t seem like much but it will keep us out of trouble.

It's important to remember that ignoring foot pain can lead to worsened conditions. What starts as a minor ache can turn into a chronic problem if left unchecked and these injuries can take weeks or even months to heal, so prevention is key.

In short, our brains can sometimes lead us astray when it comes to physical activity. It's important to be mindful of the condition of our feet and shoes and to follow a gradual increase in activity. This will help prevent injuries and keep us on the path to better health.

The Importance of Foot and Shoe Health From Our Roanoke Podiatrist

When it comes to physical activity, we often focus on building our endurance, strength, and overall fitness. However, we often overlook the importance of foot and shoe health. Your feet are your foundation, and without proper care, you risk developing painful conditions and injuries that can sideline your progress.

One of the most crucial things to consider is selecting the right shoes or hiking boots. Shoes that are worn out, poorly fitting, or not suited to your activity level can cause a range of problems, including blisters, plantar fasciitis, and stress fractures. Invest in high-quality shoes that provide ample support and cushioning, and consider consulting with a specialist to find the right fit and style for your needs.

The following points are important when it comes to picking the right shoes for your physical activity: 

  • Proper fit: Shoes should fit well and feel comfortable on your feet.
  • Arch support: Look for shoes that provide adequate arch support for your foot type.
  • Cushioning: Shoes should have enough cushioning to absorb shock and reduce impact on your joints.
  • Breathability: Shoes with breathable materials help keep your feet cool and dry during physical activity.
  • Traction: Shoes should have good traction to prevent slipping and provide stability during movement.
  • Activity-specific design: Consider shoes designed specifically for the type of physical activity you will be doing (e.g. running shoes, hiking boots, sports cleats, cross-training shoes).
  • Durability: Choose shoes made from durable materials that can withstand the demands of your chosen physical activity.
  • The right size: This point is often overlooked or not even thought about. But 72% of people aren't wearing the right shoe size! Here's how you can get the best fit every time

Beyond footwear, it's also essential to pay attention to the condition of your feet. Ignoring foot pain or discomfort can exacerbate existing conditions or lead to new injuries. Take the time to care for your feet by keeping them clean and moisturized, wearing comfortable socks that wick away moisture, and seeking treatment from your local Roanoke podiatrist for any issues that arise.

Following the 10% Rule to Prevent Injuries

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new exercise routine or training program. You may feel motivated to push yourself to your limits in order to achieve your goals faster. However, pushing yourself too hard too fast can have negative consequences on your body. That's why it's important to follow the 10% rule mentioned earlier.

The 10% rule states that you should not increase your activity level by more than 10% per week. This means that if you are currently running for 30 minutes a day, you should not add more than three minutes of running time in the following week. By following this rule, you allow your body to gradually adjust to the increased physical demands, which reduces the risk of injury.

It's much better to progress gradually and stay injury-free than to experience setbacks due to overexertion.

Common Foot Injuries in Roanoke Caused by Overexertion

We’ve seen so many people worsen a particular foot condition by continuing a workout routine in spite of foot pain. Continuing a jogging routine or exercise class while experiencing Achilles Tendinitis or Plantar Fasciitis can make the condition worse. 

Some of the most common foot injuries caused by overexertion include:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis - This occurs when the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. It can cause a stabbing pain in your heel that is particularly bad in the morning.
  2. Stress Fractures - These small cracks in your bones are caused by repeated stress. They're often seen in runners and athletes who push themselves too hard without proper rest.
  3. Achilles Tendonitis - This is when the tendon that connects your heel to your calf becomes inflamed. It can cause pain and stiffness in the back of your heel.
  4. Shin Splints - This is a catch-all term for pain in the front of your shin. It's often caused by overexertion and can be particularly painful when you first start walking or running.

It pains us to hold people back from activities they enjoy to stay healthy but we know it’s often needed to allow for healing. The more miles we have on our feet the more important it is to not allow our brain to force our body into something that could cause trouble. 

If you suspect you have a foot injury or feel constant pain when walking, jogging, or hiking, be sure to seek medical attention right away. We’ll get you back to doing the activities you enjoy! 

Dr. Jennifer Keller
Roanoke, VA Foot and Ankle Podiatrist
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