What an amazing Memorial Day weekend. Several patients told me they managed to pursue camping, hiking, and sailing on Puget Sound, despite glitches in the weather. As a sailor myself, I can tell you that preparation is the key to safety and enjoyment.
Keeping your feet healthy during your desired summer activities can also be achieved by using good judgment and performing a few preventive measures before you set out.
Start with the right shoe for the right activity. We get into the habit of using our getaway, slip on shoes. These may be fine for a quick trip to the grocery store, but if you wear them for prolonged walking or hiking you may find your feet complaining.
During the summer we go barefoot in sandals and increase our overall level of exercise, with skincare at the bottom of our priority list. Moisturizing regularly can help maintain the elasticity of the skin and prevent cracking and blister formation.
Also, be sure you’re prepared with the right amount of sail for the weather you encounter. This takes experience and good judgment. For example, when your best friend asks you to go on a pretty hefty hiking trail and it’s been five years since you’ve strapped on your boots, it would be a wise choice to convince your friend to go on a milder hike. You should also try on your boots and walk around in them to ensure they still fit you well.
Particularly as we get older, leaping into an activity without building up to it and preparing your muscles and tendons for the load you’ll experience can lead to ankle sprains and other foot problems. Ill-fitting shoes and shoes that haven’t been broken in properly will only add to your problems and can result in blisters, corns, aggravation of plantar fasciitis, bunions, and other foot problems you already have.
So do yourself a favor.
Prepare in advance to prevent your feet and ankles from screaming at you.