Running is an effective way to lose weight and keep your heart and lungs healthy; and while it is an excellent exercise, running can also be very hard on your body, particularly on the joints and on feet. Improper running form, poor footwear and injuries can lead to aches and pains and derail even the most dedicated runner.
Providing Relief to Stressed Out Feet
The feet are often one of the first parts of the body runners experience soreness and aches, often as a result of repetitive foot striking on hard surfaces and pressure or lack of support from ill-fitting shoes. Extra wear and tear on your feet also shows up in the form of calluses, blisters, or foot odor.
Follow the tips below to relieve minor aches and pains in your feet, or to just relax them after a long run.
Put Your Feet Up
Thereís a reason why people look forward to ìputting their feet upî after a long day of work. The reason you feel immediate and lasting relief is because you are no longer putting pressure on your feet. By elevating your legs, blood and fluid that have accumulated will begin to redistribute through the rest of your body.
Putting your feet up can also relieve swellingóuse pillows to provide support under your knees while propping them up.
Blisters? Soak them Away
If youíre unable to keep blisters from forming, soaking your feet in an Epsom salt bath can help heal the blister. Epsom salts are thought to help dry out blisters and reduce corns and bunions as well.
Made of magnesium sulfateóboth of which are readily absorbed through the skinóEpsom salts have been found to be not only beneficial to the skin, but also can help alleviate post-run soreness in your muscles.
Scrub those feet!
Frequent friction against sweaty socks can lead to less than smooth heels and soles. Use a foot scrub to slough off dead skin and soften rough patches. Try to pick a scrub formulated specifically for feet, as facial scrubs are often too gentle to have much of an effect on the tough layers of skin on your feet. To further refresh your feet, choose a scrub with menthol or some sort of mint oil, which will feel cool against your skin.
Pedicures and Foot Massages
Even if you make a point of following these steps at home, sometimes you need to treat those tired feet to a feel-good pedicure. More than just a trim and polish, pedicures involve serious foot care that benefits all runners, especially those with foot issues.
Not only will the foot massage help relieve those aching muscles, but a good pedicurist can also address other runner feet issues, like dry and scaly heels, calluses, compressed toenails and more.
If you donít have a need to get rid of calluses that stem from extensive running practice, or if would rather have more time spent on the massage portion of the pedicure, a reflexology foot massage may be the best option. Not only will your tiredness and pain be massaged away, but reflexology can also benefit your entire body.
Believe it or not, even more exercise will help combat fatigue from running. This simple exercise will not only help massage the sole of your foot, but also help stretch out tight hamstrings.
Take a golf ball, tennis ball or other small ball or cylinder that will fit within your arch. While standing, roll it back and forth, from your toes to your heels. This movement helps release tension in your foot muscles.
If you have severe foot pain, beyond the usual soreness that comes from extended bouts of running, you should consult a doctor. If your condition is manageable, feel refreshed and ready for your next run by alleviating your tired feet from all that running with these easy tips.
About the Author:
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer for Bellezza, a Miami spa, whose writing offers several tips on beauty, including hair, skin and nail care. In addition to yoga, she also runs every day and uses these tips to condition her feet.