Start From the Feet Up

While at the gym last week, I noticed how busy it was compared to just a month ago. I asked my trainer about the increase, and he replied, Theyre all beginners wanting to get in shape for the summer. Its that time of the year where we all want to look our best for the beach and pool parties. Here are some tips to start your workout.

Start from the ground up. You need good shoes for any workout, whether weight training or running, and need your feet examined for any deformities that may be present. If you have flat feet, you should visit your podiatrist before starting any workout. Working out with bunions, hammertoes, heel pain, or thick callous may cause these issues to get worse. A device called an orthotic may be recommended. Orthotics are custom made specifically for you from a 3-D scan or impression and may do more than stop the pain. They may prevent these problems from getting worse.

Find out what part of your body you want to work on. Want heart health? Then, a cardio workout is for you. If you have any health problems always get cleared by your general practitioner or cardiologist before starting. Most cardio workouts involve running, jumping, or stepping on platforms. The proper shoe fit will prevent blisters and pain. Make sure you purchase your shoes at the end of the day. They should be wide enough and have at least one finger length from the end of the shoe to the toes. Get a shoe with ample cushioning. We recommend going to an athletic shop where most of the staff have been trained to fit shoes for your specific exercise.

Set a schedule and put it on a calendar so you can check it off. This simple method is effective in motivating you to continue your workouts. The schedule should include how often and when you want to exercise. Results happen when you stick with it.

Go slow; you are only a beginner. Dont look at the muscle bound guy lifting 300 pounds or the woman with the flat stomach.. If you dont know how much to lift on a machine, start out with a low number. If the number is too much go lower, if too easy go higher. Find the balance between being able to lift weights without struggle but yet is a challenge as well.

Stretch, stretch, and stretch again and warm up before starting. You will cramp if you dont stretch and may cause a serious injury. This week, I saw a patient that didnt stretch and had an Achilles tendon rupture which needed surgical repair. Your podiatrist or trainer will be able to show you the proper stretch and form for you. After the stretch, start with a walk on the treadmill as a warm up. Dont stop abruptly; always cool down.

Do not work on the same body part every time. Maybe all you wanted were stronger legs, but overexerting your legs will only cause pain. Switch it up from core to legs to back, and this will save you not only pain but boredom as well.

Diet and hydration are always a part of any exercise regimen. Eating healthy is great, but dont starve yourself. Maintain a balance between calories you consume and the ones you burn off by exercise. Remember to drink plenty of water. If you are diabetic, check your sugar level to make sure its not too low.

Once you get into it, its hard to stop, and your body will thank you by feeling better and stronger. Remember to start with the basics and you will be rewarded. Diabetics that exercise will see a lower blood sugar as a result and often be able to get off medication.

Dr. Bowman can give you pointers on proper shoes and stretching, and discuss how you can obtain your exercise goals. He will also show you specific exercises to strengthen your feet. Dr. Bowman can be reached by calling 713-467-8886 or online appointments through

Category: Sports Injuries

Tags: ankle injuries, ankle pain, Blisters, Bunions, Callouses, Exercise, Foot Injuries, foot pain, Footwear, Hammertoes, heel Pain, Orthotics, Proper Footwear, shoes, Sports Injuries