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Relief for Exercising Feet

Don't let foot problems sideline your fitness goals.
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2: Sock It to Me, Baby continued...

"If socks are too thick, rough in texture, too tight, or too loose, that friction multiplies and so does your risk of foot problems," says Morin.

Seek out a sock with some cushioning on the sole, in one of the new microfiber fabrics designed to wick away moisture, the experts advise.

"Moisture that builds on the skin contributes to blisters, as well as foot odor, skin fungus, and fungus of the nails," says Catanese.

Socks should also be white, he says, particularly if you suffer from diabetes.

"People think we recommend white socks because of the dyes in colored socks, but actually it's because the white allows you to immediately see if there is a problem," he says. "Any stain on the sock, either blood or a yellow-tinged fluid, or even a clear liquid, you know something is wrong, even if you can't feel it."

3. Become One with Your Inner Sole

If your shoe doesn't have a built-in arch support, Plancher recommends investing in a shoe insert that supports the foot from heel to toe.

"You're not looking for cushioning as much as for the arch to be supported," he says. "You should feel the insert pushing gently against your arch, so that your body weight is supported symmetrically across the entire foot."

This one step places the foot in the correct biomechanical position, which automatically reduces the risk of blisters, corns, and calluses by at least 50%, he says.

Experts say good arch support also helps prevent another common workout problem: plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue that supports the foot arch.

"Good shock absorption may help some, but it's really all about the mechanics of the way the foot functions," Morin says. "If the arch caves in and collapses down, you're going to have a problem."

Signs of plantar fasciitis include pain in the arch or heel that is strongest when you walk after resting.

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm

While being excited about your new workout program is a good thing, doing too much too soon is the quickest way to put your feet out of commission.

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