Running is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, maintain weight loss, and improve your overall health. In addition, it does not require a lot expensive exercise equipment. However, if you want to begin a running regimen but suffer from flat feet, there are a few things you need to take heed of in order to minimize the chance of injuries that could interrupt your running schedule.
See a Podiatrist
When you suffer from flat feet, medically known as pes planus, your feet will lack a defined arch and the entire surface of your foot seems to touch the floor when you stand. The causes of flat feet include genetics, congenital foot issues, unequal leg lengths, and fused foot bones.
Regardless of the cause, before you begin a serious running schedule, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist to have your feet evaluated. A podiatrist can provide you with x-rays of your feet and an analysis of your walking pattern. These results can help the doctor recommend what type of running shoes you should purchase.
In addition, a podiatrist can fit you with custom shoe insoles to help you avoid pain while running. Custom insoles designed specifically for your feet will provide you with much better support than cheap, ill-fitting off-the-shelf products you purchase at a drug store.
Get Injuries Treated Right Away
While running provides numerous health benefits, if you run on rough terrain or overtrain, you may develop minor injuries. Even if the pain from an injury is not debilitating, do not ignore it. The longer you run on an injury, the more damage you will cause to your feet.
Common injuries that are typical of people with flat feet include shin splints, stress fractures, tendonitis, and connective tissue tears in the plantar fascia.
Make an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as possible to get the injury treated. If you let injuries like stress fractures and plantar fasciitis linger and avoid treatment, you put yourself at risk of needing surgery and physical therapy to heal properly.
Practice Good Running Habits
Good running practices can help you prevent common injuries associated with flat feet. First, do not ignore your podiatrist's suggestions for quality shoes. Shop at a retailer that specializes in selling running shoes. Specialty shops will have a good selection of shoes for people who suffer from flat feet. Stay away from generic running shoes from department stores.
Do not overtrain, especially if you are a beginner. You may be excited to start your running regimen but doing too much too fast and running every day only sets you up for getting injured. Your body needs time to recover from your running workout.
Warm up before you run. Stretching properly for 5 to 10 minutes before you begin a run can help you get loose before you hit the road.
For more information, contact local professionals like Advanced Foot & Ankle Centers of Illinois.