Taking a vacation? Make it easy on your feet
(Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, VA – 7/20/2018) Although rest and relaxation are the goals for most vacations, they usually involve a lot of walking and a lot of walking usually involves sore feet.
"Walking is great exercise and one of the most reliable forms of transportation," says Shaun Hafner, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon with offices in Northern Virginia. "But if your feet aren’t in the best shape or you don’t have the right shoes, too much walking can cause foot problems."
According to Dr. Hafner, good foot care is essential if you plan to subject your feet to long periods of walking. Some simple foot care tips include:
- Wear thick, absorbent socks (acrylic instead of cotton).
- Dry feet thoroughly after bathing, making sure to dry between toes. Use powder before putting on shoes.
- Nails should be cut regularly, straight across the toe.
- Bunions, hammertoes or any other serious foot problems should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
"The right shoe is also important to healthy walking," say Dr. Hafner. "The ideal walking shoe should be stable from side to side, and well-cushioned, and it should enable you to walk smoothly. Many running shoes will fit the bill."
He adds there are also shoes made especially for walking. Walking shoes tend to be slightly less cushioned, yet not as bulky, and lighter than running shoes. Whether a walking or running shoe, the shoes need to feel stable and comfortable.
Warming up exercises to help alleviate any muscle stiffness or pulled muscles are also advised before walking. Loosening up the heel cords (Achilles and calf) and thigh muscles before a walk is especially effective.
"If you’re not accustomed to long walks, start slowly and rest if your feet start hurting," says Dr. Shaun Hafner. "And above all, have fun."