Doing some exercise has become crucial these days, and the fact is that it not only improves our physical condition but also stimulates our mental health. Here we will explore everything you might need to take care of your feet when you are out walking or hiking.
As we all know, the pandemic has brought many changes in our habits, for example, working from home or even not being able to go out because of a lockdown. These new situations have caused more people to start walking or hiking to get some fresh air.
If you do not have experience in these practices, don’t worry! You might follow the following tips to avoid suffering pathologies and injuries in your feet and start doing something different. Let's take a look together at what most podiatrists recommend:
1.- ANALYZE OUR PHYSICAL CAPACITY
Let's be realistic. The main idea is to be aware if we can reach the goal. A way to test is to do the same route or distance. If we cannot achieve it and still go on that trekking walk, our feet will suffer from overstrain.
2.- VISIT A PODIATRIST
Well, it’s true. Before hiking or taking long walks, it is better to see a podiatrist and check our feet because sometimes we suffer injuries that are not easy to catch.
3.- CHOOSING THE RIGHT FOOTWEAR
Why is footwear a big deal for walking or any other physical activity? It's like wearing beach sandals in the mountains, isn't it the best thing to do. It's the same case here. We should consider certain things:
Purchase a pair of hiking boots or also known as training boots. They are high cane and will keep the ankle much more supported, thus preventing you from getting injured. In addition, their soles are usually waterproof and made of a material to prevent slipping.
If the activity we are going to do is much softer and the ground we are going to move on is not unstable, and the distance we will walk is not long, a good pair of sneakers should do the task.
Make sure you buy the right size because if footwear is too tight, it can press on the nails and lead to injuries. And if it is too loose, your feet will slip, and you will run the risk of cramps.
- Wear your new shoes at home a couple of times before going out for a walk or hike. So the shoe will adapt better to your foot before the outdoor adventure.
4.- ALWAYS KEEP YOUR FEET DRY
How to do it?
- Use cotton socks, also breathable.
- If your feet are sweating a lot, it is advisable to bring an extra pair of socks in your backpack to change them halfway or when you take a break to rest.
- You can also use powder on your feet to prevent your feet from sweating excessively.
5.- AVOID BLISTERS AT ALL TIMES.
How to avoid blisters? Follow these tips:
- Apply a little Vaseline or cream to keep your feet moisturized the night before your outdoor trip. Do whatever it takes to keep rubbing from turning into a blister or peeling skin.
- Never wash your feet before walking with hot water. It facilitates the blisters to form.
6.- WATCH YOUR NAILS
When cutting your nails, always avoid leaving small peaks on them, especially on their sides. These peaks can dig into the side of the next toe and cause wounds.
7.- PREPARE A SMALL FIRST AID KIT
Usually for long routes. You might buy:
- Disinfectant products.
- Ointments to cure wounds.
8.- DO NOT CARRY TOO MUCH WEIGHT
It is equivalent to more weight supported by the feet. Water, extra socks, foodstuffs, and a first aid kit should be enough.
9.- TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET BEFORE WALKING
Prepare your feet before starting to hike with a quick massage. You will avoid that the musculature of your feet is overloaded.
10.- TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET AFTER WALKING
- Wash them with cold water.
- Dry them very well, especially between the toes.
- Make a small massage and gentle stretching.
These exercises will relax all the fascia and foot muscles.
Now you are all set to go on your adventure!
Take care of your feet before walking or hiking.
They will thank you.