At Healthmark Foot and Ankle, we’re always telling our patients to “mix it up.” Whether it’s wearing different types of shoes on a regular basis, changing your socks, or mixing up your diet, the body can benefit from switching from the ordinary, predictable habits that it’s used to. Changing your footwear regularly can help prevent heel spurs, bunions, hammertoes, and injury.
Mixing up your regular run and/or walk is another important activity to constantly be changing around. Whether you’re on a rocky slope, an indoor track, a forested trail, or the pavement in your neighborhood, altering the settings in which your feet perform is important not only for your feet but for your entire body. Various features within the foot benefit when the surface they’re used on is changed. From a cellular level, the mitochondria send new, diverse signals to your brain causing stimulation for both the feet and the brain. The tissues and muscles of the foot, ankle, and legs also benefit when the scene is changed up. Going from a flat road to a rocky trail, for instance allows the body to encounter obstacles and features that not only change the pace of the run, but also use different body parts (e.g. vaulting over a small, low log incorporates upper body functions). The same holds true when one switches from trail to pavement. On a more uniform, flat surface, the foot and body performs differently whether it’s an increased pace, or more of a relaxed jog or walk.
Asics America has released a video that compliments these points that we tell our walking and running patients on a regular basis.