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The Most Common Mistakes People Make At The Gym

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The Most Common Mistakes People Make At The Gym Regarding Footcare | Gotham Footcare: Podiatrists

Are You Showering Barefoot At The Gym? Not Changing Your Socks Daily? Or Not Wearing The Right Sneakers to The Gym? Dr. Cunha Weighs In On The Most Common Mistakes People Are Making During Their Workout Routine to The Gym.

What's the Most Common Mistake You See Patients Make in Terms of Wearing Running Shoes or Working Out and Footwear in General?

Their shoes don't fit. Wearing ill-fitted shoes can compress the toes together causing the big toenail to grow into the skin and eventually resulting in an ingrown toenail. Ill-fitted shoes can also aggravate the symptoms and progression of bunion deformities as the shape of the shoe does not accommodate the normal structure of the forefoot. An ill-fitted shoe can also press up against the great toe pushing it over towards the second toe further exacerbating bunion deformities.

Have your foot measured with a Brannock device for both length and width. It's important to remember that sizing can be different across different brands, due to their design and the materials used. Also, keep in mind that the length and width of a person's foot tends to change over time due to ligamentous laxity that occurs over time leading to falling arches or because of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Try at least three different shoe models; try two different models at the same time, wearing one model on each foot. The tip of your thumb should fit between the end of the shoe and the end of your longest toe. Make sure the toe box is wide enough to accommodate your toes; make sure there is enough room to slightly wiggle your toes. If you can't move your toes at all then the shoes are too tight and will eventually become painful.

They don't change their socks often enough. Once the socks have a hole from wear and tear then it is time to replace it. Socks should be changed regularly to avoid unpleasant smells and athlete's foot (a fungal infection). Fungus loves warm, damp, and dark environments which makes your socks the ideal breeding place. My suggestion is to change your socks at least once a day. More than once if you are performing a high level of activities that make you perspire a lot.

The shoe or toe box is too narrow. Most of the problems that occur with our feet - particular for women, and often for runners - are because our shoes don't have a wide enough forefoot. Bunions, hammer toes, neuromas, ingrown toenails, etc. are all caused if you don't have a wide forefoot. In order to determine whether the forefront is wide enough, I suggest that you trace your foot onto a piece of paper at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen. Then place the shoe over the tracing of the foot. If the tracing of the foot is external to the periphery of the shoe then you know that your shoes are too narrow.

How Important Is It to Cover Your Feet in the Gym Locker Room? And Why? (What Can People Contract by Failing to Wear Proper Shoes?)

I would never walk barefoot at the gym and strongly recommend against it. Walking barefoot exposes our feet to bacterial and fungal organisms that can infect the skin and nails. These organisms can lead to infections that change the appearance, smell, and comfort of the foot such as athlete's foot or fungal nails.

Oftentimes, people with thickened, dry, scaly feet assume that their feet need moisturizing with an everyday cream when in fact what they need is an anti-fungal cream instead because they have a fungal infection (likely Athlete's Foot) that is causing the scaliness. These organisms tend to grow in dark and moist environments. People often contract these infections as they are highly contagious by walking barefoot in communal bathing facilities and gyms. These organisms first infect the skin and then they may infect the nails leading to thickening, discoloration, and brittleness of the nails. Both conditions become not only unsightly but also contribute to an unpleasant odor. Ultimately the skin and nails become painful as the skin fissure and cracks and the nail thickens putting more pressure onto the toes.

What Shoes Do You Recommend for Gym Locker Rooms?

Always wear flip flops to prevent infection from germs that can be picked up when walking barefoot such as bacteria, fungus, and warts.

Are There Any Other Best Practices You Have for Working Out and Footwear? For Example, Should People Change Out of Their Damp Socks Right Away?

Change your socks immediately. Socks are used to provide a layer of warmth and protection between your skin and the outside surface. Once they become moist, they are a breeding ground for bacteria (as I mentioned above). Even if you aren't hitting the gym, I recommend you change your socks (preferably wool or cotton and not nylon as they absorb moisture better) at least once a day. Some sports socks and medicated insoles are designed to keep feet dry, and you can get special antibacterial socks, which have a deodorizing effect, in your shoes.

Purchase the appropriate size. I recommend always buying shoes at the end of the end when your feet are most swollen. If they feel comfortable at the end of the day most likely they will feel comfortable throughout the day. Have your foot measured with a Brannock device for both length and width. It's important to remember that sizing can be different across different brands, due to their design and the materials used. Also, keep in mind that the length and width of a person's foot tend to change over time due to ligamentous laxity that occurs over time leading to falling arches or because of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Try at least three different shoe models; try two different models at the same time, wearing one model on each foot. The tip of your thumb should fit between the end of the shoe and the end of your longest toe. Make sure the toe box is wide enough to accommodate your toes; make sure there is enough room to slightly wiggle your toes. If you can't move your toes at all then the shoes are too tight and will eventually become painful.

Shop specialty shoe running stores. I recommend shopping for your shoes at a running shoe specialty store where the staff is better informed and knowledgeable about running shoe choices and recommendations and will have more time to spend with you individually as a customer.

Flex point of shoes. The flex point of a walking shoe should be the point at which it bends while walking. For optimal comfort, the flex point of the shoe should match the bending point of your foot; when it doesn't align with your foot it can cause problems like arch pain or plantar fasciitis. You can check the flex point of the shoe by holding it by the heel and pressing the toe of the shoe onto the ground. The point where the shoe bends and creases is the flex point.

Comfortable footbed to support the arch with memory foam or EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) anti-compression insole.

Shock Absorbent outsole made of rubber will help alleviate the impact of each step far greater than a shoe with a hard sole.

Supportive and Durable: It is important to pick a shoe that offers as much durability and protection as possible without sacrificing comfort or flexibility. Look for a shoe designed with smooth, solid leather uppers that are not only highly durable but also flexible and comfortable.

What Should You Look for in Running Shoes?

When looking for running shoes, you want to make sure you have sneakers with the following characteristics:

Rigid shank: In order to tell if the shoe is rigid enough, you want to take the shoe and bend it in half. You shouldn't be able to, because the shank is the actual structure of the shoe and should be rigid to hold up and support the arch.

Rigid heel counter: Squeeze the heel of the shoe to see how firm it is. There should be a good bit of padding called an ankle collar which is intended to protect cushion the ankle and the Achilles tendon. You shouldn't be able to compress it - so when you are running it supports the heel.

Most of the problems that occur with our feet - particular for women, and often for runners - are because our shoes don't have a wide enough forefoot. Bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, ingrown toenails, etc. are all caused if you don't have a wide forefoot. In order to determine whether the forefront is wide enough, I suggest that you trace your foot onto a piece of paper at the end of the day when your feet are most.

At Gotham Footcare in NYC, we strive at recognizing your individual needs and desired outcomes while formulating an effective and personalized treatment plan with the highest quality care available.

What sets Gotham Footcare apart from other podiatry offices is our dedication to providing you with the education you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your care. Regardless of what your foot and ankle trouble may be, at Gotham Footcare our team will work tirelessly to help you feel better. At Gotham Footcare, we help you put your best foot forward.