Races are great events for runners. Not only do they let you do the thing you love—run—but they can also help raise money and awareness for other causes. On September 20 and 21, the Phoenix Zoo is hosting the Empower One Breast Cancer Awareness Walk. You can walk the course or race a 5 or 10K to raise money for the Hope Supply Program in Arizona. Even if you have flat feet, you can still enjoy running in this race.
Flat feet don’t have to keep you from running; however, having a fallen or naturally low arch does make you prone to overpronation and other foot pain problems. Your midfoot isn’t as strong or efficient for absorbing shock as a normal foot, so it ends up somewhat unstable and more susceptible to overuse injuries, like shin splints and tendonitis.
However, you can take steps to stabilize your low arches, minimizing your foot pain and helping you prevent running injuries. Exercises to improve your foot strength, stretches to relax tight tissues, and the right shoes are some of the most important factors.
Toe Curls – curl your digits all the way and hold them there for ten seconds. Then relax and repeat the motion multiple times.
Towel Scrunch – Lay a towel out in front of you and sit in a chair with your feet on the towel. Using just your toes, grip the fabric and scrunch it closer to yourself. Repeat this until the whole towel has been scrunched as much as possible.
Plantar Stretch – Sit with one foot crossed over your knee. While you flex that foot, gently pull the toes further backwards.
Sole Massage – Use the sole of your foot to roll a soup can or a water bottle back and forth. Gently press down so you feel the stretch in your arch.
The right shoes help stabilize your whole foot and supplement your shock absorption. Motion-control or stability shoes bolster your arch and help you distribute the force of your footsteps correctly. Look for footwear with a firm, stabilized midsole and instep.
If you enjoy running, you don’t have to give up the sport because of flat feet. You do, however, have to be careful and take extra care of your feet to prevent injuries. Let our team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona help you run well! Just call, fax, or use our website to contact us for an appointment: in Chandler, call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375; for Gilbert, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229.
Photo Credit: stockimages via FreeDigitalPhotos.net