After months of being inside due to miserable, cold weather, you’re ready to sprint outside and go wild at the first hint of spring. But experts warn that the sudden elation that comes along with the season’s first rays of sun can lead to a host of foot and leg problems, as people tend to bite off more physical activity than they can chew.
If you’ve been fairly inactive during the winter months, it’s important to prepare your body before running outside and immediately engaging in jogging, hiking, swimming, a marathon and other springtime activities. Otherwise, your weak muscles, tendons and ligaments will quickly become strained and result in painful overuse conditions and foot injuries like:
- Shin splints (pain in the front shin area of your leg)
- Plantar fasciitis (pain in the heel and arch of your foot)
- Stress fractures
- Ankle sprains
How to Avoid Springtime Foot and Leg Injuries
The best way to protect yourself from suffering post-winter foot and leg ailments is to make sure your body is prepared for the sudden increase of outdoor activity spring brings. Some ways you can do this include:
- Keeping active during the cold months so your muscles stay strong, either with an in-home workout routine or by regularly visiting an indoor fitness facility
- Slowly take on springtime activities so you can gradually build yourself back up to a healthy physically active state
- Be sure to thoroughly examine your athletic shoes to make sure they’re not worn out and are in good, supportive condition
- If your athletic shoes show any signs of wear and tear, consider purchasing a new pair. Even slight wear can cause changes in your gait, which can quickly lead to aches, pains and foot injuries
- Wear the right type of shoe for the activity you’re engaging in (for example, hiking boots for hiking, cleated baseball shoes for baseball, etc.)
- Use caution on mountain trails, as there may be slippery patches of ice or mud
- Visit a podiatrist if you’re experiencing any type of foot pain. Continuing to workout, walk, run and jump on an injured body part will only make the condition worse. Treating foot pain in its early stages ensures you’ll be able to stay active during springtime and beyond.