A runner's feet take quite the beating with all the repetitive pounding, sweating, and muscle exertion. Here are five ways to help ease soreness and prevent foot injuries that could sideline your running routine.
- Grab a tennis ball: If you have a loving friend who's offering to rub your feet regularly, that's great, but most of us don't have that luxury. Instead, perform a little self-massage with a tennis ball or racquetball. Sit or stand and place the ball under the arch of your foot, roll it along your arch, and shift to whatever part of your foot needs attention. You'll be surprised at how sore your feet really are.
- Trim your toenails: Seems like a simple task that doesn't need mentioning, but since feet are covered most of the time, you may not pay as much attention to your toenails as you do your fingernails. Long toenails can rub against the inside of your shoe or cut the adjacent toes, making it painful to run. When giving yourself a minipedicure, cut or file nails straight since rounded edges can cause ingrown toenails.
Keep reading for more ways to care for your runner's feet.
- Exfoliate dry skin: The skin on our feet tends to be thick, rough, and dry. For runners, this can cause heel fissures, where the dry skin cracks and bleeds. Walking can be painful enough, but the repeated pounding of running can deepen the cracks, making them more susceptible to infection. Prevent heel fissures by exfoliating your feet using bath gloves or a pumice stone. Moisturize often to keep the skin moist.
- Stretch: To prevent injury and ease soreness, stretching after a run is essential. Here's a sequence of stretches to target the muscles in the soles of your feet (and is also perfect if you wear high heels).
- Ease inflammation: If feet are swollen after a run, get icy relief with this trick. Fill a water bottle halfway with ice cubes and fill the rest with cold water. Place the bottle on a towel to collect condensation and rest the arch of your bare foot on the middle of the bottle. Rock your foot forward and back, rolling the bottle underneath. Apply as much pressure as you want, continuing for a few minutes.