Healthy feet keep New Year’s Resolutions.

newyearWith the start of 2013 many of us will be making those famous New Year resolutions. The number one New Year’s resolution is of course- losing weight. This includes a determination to exercise on a regular basis.

Soon after the midnight ball drops in Times Square, podiatrists start seeing the annual influx of patients with foot pain caused by exercise. Do not let foot pain stop your resolve to exercise. When starting a new activity, gradually increase the time and duration. Don’t go full force to start, take a day off in between workouts at first.

Be sure to warm up and include stretching. Common conditions due to a quick increase in activity are:

Heel pain   Most heel pain cases are caused by plantar fasciitis.  Many times just changing the exercise shoe and wearing recommended shoe inserts will relieve the pain.  Try rolling a frozen water bottle on the bottom of the arch and heel

Stretching several times a day can also help. Sit on the floor barefoot with the knees straight. Hook a towel around the toes of the foot. Pull back on the towel, count to 10, and then relax. Repeat several times.

Pinched nerves   Have your feet measured before you buy athletic shoes.  Many people wear shoes that are a half-size too tight. Exercising in tight shoes can cause a pinched nerve called a neuroma.  Patients with this condition say they feel burning in the ball of their foot and tingling in their third and fourth toes.

Achilles tendon pain   New Year’s exercisers who ignore this advice risk Achilles tendonitis. The back of the foot becomes tender and painful.  If Achilles tendon pain occurs, follow the RICE principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation).

cartoonInstead of going from couch potato to a high intensity workout, try easing into a new exercise routine.  Start with walking, not running, and add stretching and a little weight training to balance your program. Walking is an easy, inexpensive exercise program that can be done indoors or outdoors. By losing weight and exercising you decrease your chances of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and other life threatening diseases.

Listen to your body. If pain in the foot or ankle continues past a week, contact your podiatrist who will help you stick to your New Year’s resolution to exercise and lose weight.  Take it one footstep at a time and have fun in 2013!

Podiatrist, Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located on US 27 and can be reached at 863-314-Walk(9255) or


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