It’s that time of year—many patients have made New Year’s resolutions to get in shape in 2019 and now it’s time to put that plan into action. At North Jersey Podiatry, we believe regular exercise helps your feet (and the rest of your body). It’s an important component of keeping your weight down and maintaining good circulation, range of motion, and flexibility. However, we also see many patients in our office who have injured themselves due to a sport or exercise program that has gone awry. To help make sure you start your new fitness plan off on the right foot, follow the do’s and don’ts below:

DO: get your regular physician and your foot doctor’s okay to begin a new exercise program. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul Klein, will want to be sure that any chronic podiatric conditions you have such as arthritis, heel pain, and hammertoes, are under control and will not be made worse by the activity you choose. The podiatrist may also make recommendations about your footwear or suggest special padding or even an orthotic insert to make exercise more comfortable.

DON’T: choose an exercise program that is too advanced for your current level of physical fitness. Slow and steady wins the race. Trying to go from couch potato to super athlete in a couple of weeks is likely to end in injuries such as Achilles tendonitis or ankle sprains.

DON’T: start your new routine without the proper footwear. If the activity you choose is something you’ve done in the past, inspect your shoes to make sure they are not showing signs of wear. If you are going to do something new, it’s best to buy shoes specifically designed for the sport you are doing and to get professionally measured and fitted at a store that specializes in fitness footwear.

DO: consider enlisting a friend to be an exercise buddy. Having someone else to workout with not only makes getting in shape more fun, but it also helps you be more accountable and increases your chances of sticking with a new routine.

DON’T: keep exercising if your feet or ankles start to hurt. “No pain, no gain,” is a dangerous myth. If you experience any discomfort in your feet, contact our Wayne, NJ office for an appointment by calling: (973) 595-1555 as soon as possible.