With winter approaching, more people are going to the gym to keep fit. Here are a few tips to keep your feet injury free. When at the gym remember to stretch your muscles first, then increase the level and intensity of your work out gradually. This will reduce the chance of an injury.

Shoes

The correct footwear is essential, a good quality training shoe (that is designed for exercise) is a must, as this will support your feet. Shoes that are not supporting your feet, or do not provide cushioning can cause problems with the heel, toes and the arch. Wearing cotton socks will help prevent your foot from moving around in your shoe. It also helps absorb moisture, reducing the chances of getting a blister. If you do have a blister, do not burst it, as it may become infected. If the blister does burst, then look for signs of redness and a discharge of yellow liquid, these are signs that you need to seek medical attention.

Heel

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis; This is when the fibrous tissue at the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. If untreated, deposits of calcium can build where the plantar fascia inserts into the heel, resulting in the appearance of a sharp thorn, like heel spur on an x-ray. A good quality off the shelf Orhotics is one of the most effective ways to treat this condition. Silicone heel cups provide great pain relief, another option to try is hot and cold gel packs.

Corns are generally found on the top of your toes, and are caused by pressure of your shoes on your toes; however they can also be found on the base of the foot. They can appear white / gray or yellow / brown in color, depending on your skin type. It is not advisable to use corn plasters, as they can damage the healthy skin and cause an infection.

Using appropriate exercise techniques will prevent a foot injury from occurring. Many people can suffer from ankle, ligament or foot problems when bad exercise techniques are used. The gym is a breeding ground for bacteria, especially around public showers, pools and gym equipment. So it is important to remember to protect your feet. Using water shoes when around the pool and showers can really help.

It is advisable to protect cuts and cracks in your skin, as this is an entry point for bacteria. If you have a cut that does not seem to be healing, then see your local doctor for advice.