Take Care of your feet in preparation for Gyms re-opening in WA!

21 Aug 2020


Has your workout routine been affected by COVID-19 gym closures? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In WA, gyms have just reopened, and gym-goers are bursting at the seams to get back into their normal workout routines!


Perhaps you’ve swapped the weights for at-home yoga or running! However the changes in routine have affected you, it’s safe to say that we haven’t been in the same exercise routine as we were pre-COVID. 


Aside from the obvious de-conditioning that comes with not being at the gym, many of us have also missed out on much of the incidental exercise we used to get from things like commuting into work, walking around shopping centres or heading to brunch. If we’re using the structures in our feet and ankles less, our overall capacity for loading will decline. That means that when we return to our normal HIIT/strength class, those structures may not be able to handle those loads as well as we used to. This can contribute to heel pain (plantar fasciopathy) and other foot and leg ailments, including: 


To best avoid injury during this time, here are some tips:


Don’t overextend yourself

  • Even if we could previously squat 60kg or run 5km on the treadmill pre-gym closure, we may not be able to lift as heavy a weight or run as far or train as frequently if this is something we haven’t done in months
  • If we try and do too much too soon (lift too heavy of a weight, do too many reps or train too high of an intensity), this can lead to functional decline rather than gains in strength, putting you at risk of injury


Take appropriate rest days!

  • Rest days are really important, particularly if we’re building load! 
  • They give our body a chance to repair the micro-tears we created during our training and become stronger


Control is king!

  • Rather than focusing on lifting heavier or doing bulk reps, focus on controlling movements
  • If you’re unable to maintain good technique throughout the duration of the exercise, you should decrease the weight or intensity of the exercise to where you can keep good form


Check your shoes!

A good pair of shoes should be:

  1. a) in good condition
  2. b) suitable for the activity you’re doing
  3. c) suited to your foot type

As a general rule, a running shoe should be structured, cushioned and be higher at the heel than at the front of the foot. This allows us to get a good, efficient heel to toe movement during running.


On the other hand, a gym shoe can be slightly flatter and more flexible to allow for multi-directional movement and extra feedback from the ground during training.


It’s best to be fitted by a specialty shoe store (such as Active Feet, The Athletes Foot or The Running Company etc), or alternatively your podiatrist can make recommendations based on an assessment of your gait. 


Listen to your body

  • If you’re feeling a little niggle here or there, it’s important to know when to take yourself to see a professional
  • We always aim to keep you active throughout your recovery, and seeking professional treatment sooner rather than later can be the difference between being able to continue normal training throughout treatment and having to modify or miss training altogether for a period of time
  • If your pain persists beyond 4 consecutive days it is worth getting things checked out! 


For more information, or to make an appointment, contact Colin at Cannington Podiatry today on (08) 9351 8334.