After all the turkey is gone and with Christmas and New Year's approaching, as a Northwesterner you look forward to hiking, skiing, or long walks. Not only are these activities invigorating in the cold, crisp air they will keep your weight in check. Getting more exercise is also a great way to maintain your health especially if you suffer from diabetes or are at risk for heart disease or stroke. (Of course it's always important to check with your doctor before taking on a new activity).

If you plan on hitting the trails this fall and winter it's always a good idea to take specific precautions so that your feet and ankles don't take on the brunt of your exuberance.

Go Slowly With New Activities

Our bodies are not machines. We need to take on new exercises at a slower pace than we might imagine. Take on a realistic distance and elevation gain if you're just starting out. For example, if your friends are trying to talk you into a five mile roundtrip hike; as a beginner you'll be at must greater risk for injury and pain.

Get Your Feet and Ankles in Shape

Just like the rest of your body, your feet and ankles are going to need some warming up and strengthening before they'll feel good taking on a new activity. We found this great blog written by the folks at Livestrong called "12 Anytime Moves to Strengthen Your Feet and Ankles" that will go a long way to get you in shape and avoid injuries.

Buy the Right Shoes

Shoe companies make different types of shoes for specific types of activities. Be sure you go to the experts (a running store like Super Jock 'N Jill if you're planning to run or a store like REI if you're planning to hike or ski). Bring in your current shoes or boots so the salesperson can check for wear patterns and don't forget your orthotics. The boots should feel comfortable from the start or move on. New boots and shoes can also help prevent slipping and sliding when you're on uneven terrain.

If you have a foot or ankle injury, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Download our new book "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners"  

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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