February is American Heart Month and at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that your feet and your heart have a loving relationship. A healthy heart means good circulation which is beneficial to your feet. Your feet play an important role in a key element of heart health: staying active. We want our Los Angeles County patients to know that regular physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends adults get in 150 active minutes (2.5 hours) each week. In addition to keeping your heart healthy, there are other benefits of an active lifestyle including:
- Reduced risk of other diseases such as stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, and several types of cancer
- Help with weight loss or maintaining an appropriate weight
- Better sleep
- Less anxiety and depression
- Improved bone strength and balance, which decreases fall risk
- Mental sharpness: improved cognition, attention, processing, and memory
Help Your Feet Help Your Heart
For your feet to be able to help you stay active, they too need care and attention. Follow these tips to ensure that your feet and ankles are in tip-top shape for physical activity.
Take Care of Foot Pain—continuing to work out if your feet or ankles hurt is a bad idea. Any podiatric discomfort should be evaluated by our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas. The foot doctor will examine your feet and diagnose any problems that will impede your ability to be active. Your podiatrist can also make recommendations to help you accommodate chronic foot problems like plantar fasciitis and bunions. Shoe modifications, custom orthotics, and other recommendations can help. Make an appointment by contacting our Long Beach office at (562) 420-9800.
Choose Shoes Wisely—what you wear on your feet can have a big impact on the success of any fitness regimen. Be sure the athletic footwear you are using is the right kind for the activity you’ve chosen. Check shoes regularly for signs of wear such as compacted insoles, worn down heels, and rips or tears. Get your feet professionally measured to ensure you’re wearing the correct size.
Mix Up Your Routine—choose a variety of different types of activity each week. A mix of aerobic and strength training will benefit your heart and avoiding repetitive strain and impact is good for your feet.