How High-Intensity Exercise Affects Your Feet

.The promise of burning extra energy in just a short burst of time makes high-intensity interval exercise (HIIT) very attractive to many people seeking muscle toning, weight loss, or higher energy levels through workouts. Unfortunately, HIIT exercises often involve jumping and other high-risk exercises for your feet, sometimes resulting in pain and injuries.

This article will review a few injuries we see at Best Foot Doctor due to HIIT workouts. We will also provide a few ways to help prevent injuries from high-intensity exercise to your feet during your workouts.

Common Injuries to Feet From High-Intensity Interval Workouts

Many HIIT exercises involve jumping, which puts a lot of pressure on your feet. This is especially true if you are starting a new workout program after an extended period of not regularly training. Or if you have recently upped the intensity of your workout considerably. Until the muscles in your feet can adjust to the new routine, they are at a high risk of injury.

The four most common foot injuries we see from HIIT are:

  • Muscle pain – lack of stretching before or after workouts or workouts that go too long can leave the muscles in your feet overextended and painful.
  • Rolled or sprained ankles – a workout area (especially at home) that is cluttered can put you at risk of stepping on a foreign object when coming down from a jump. Ankle injuries of this kind can be pretty painful and involve a long recovery time. The good news is that these types of injuries usually are very preventable.
  • Plantar fasciitis – overworking your feet can cause them to develop other problems. Plantar fasciitis does not go away on its own and should be treated by a foot doctor (podiatrist) as soon as possible.
  • Infections from blisters or cuts – are not limited to HIIT exercises, but it is worth mentioning. When using a public facility, like a gym or rec center, you need to check your feet before entering and after you leave. Many diseases can be passed through barefoot traffic and can be challenging to get rid of. This includes toenail fungus and athlete’s foot, to name some common types. Limiting the amount of time you are barefoot at the gym, wearing clean socks, and checking for cuts, bruises, and blisters can help you prevent these diseases. 

How to Prevent Foot Injuries From HIIT

In addition to caring for your feet after using public workout facilities, the following four suggestions can help you prevent injuries while working out.

  • Wear proper footwear – going barefoot increases your chances of injuring your feet.
  • Don’t ignore pain – pain is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. Attend to pain as you feel it, especially if it onsets suddenly. Not sure what is causing the pain? Contact your podiatrist to get more answers.
  • Stretch before and after workouts – this includes your feet!
  • Use proper posture during high-intensity exercise – consciousness of correct posture can help balance the pressure and strain of a workout across your feet so that one spot is not taking all the stress.

If you are looking for a podiatrist in the NYC area, Best Foot Doctor has offices in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. Our team is currently accepting new patients. We would be happy to schedule an appointment to help you understand proper foot care for HIIT exercises. Please contact Best Foot Doctor NY today.

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