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Healthy feet are the key to weight loss
To lose weight, start from the ground up and get your feet into shape
Vancouver – Is losing weight or getting in shape part of your New Year’s resolution? If so, the B.C. Association of Podiatrists suggests you start with your feet.

“”You may have a great resolve to exercise, but if your feet start hurting, you’re not going to be as motivated to head to the gym or go for a walk. And your New Year’s resolution goes out the window,” says B.C. podiatrist, Dr. Roy Mathews.”

According to Dr. Mathews, almost half of all Canadians and 26.4 per cent of British Columbians are overweight. He says poor foot health definitely contributes to obesity and weight gain.

“If your feet hurt, your activity levels are going to drop. If your activity drops, you’re more likely to gain weight. The more weight you gain, the more likely you are to have foot pain. And you’re caught in this vicious cycle,” says Dr. Mathews. “The longer you’re overweight, the more likely you are to suffer health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and other serious health threats.”

Podiatrists urge people who are overweight to think of foot health as a part of their weight-loss program, especially if they already have chronic foot or ankle pain. Structural problems won’t go away with rest; they require the intervention of a podiatrist, who can minimize pain and damage by helping to modify the way the patient’s foot moves. Podiatrists can identify and treat the source of the problem to help the patient get ready to exercise and lead a more active lifestyle.
Many causes of foot pain can be relieved through stretching exercises, orthotics (custom shoe inserts) and wearing athletic shoes with good shock absorption and support during physical activities. If a bunion, heel pain or other condition requires surgery, it doesn’t mean the patient will have to sit on the sidelines during a lengthy recovery. Surgical techniques have improved and recovery times are shorter. During their recovery, patients are encouraged to do non- weight-bearing activities, such as riding a stationary bike, swimming or weight training.

Here are some foot health tips from the B.C. Association of Podiatrists for a successful exercise and weight loss program for people who are overweight or who have foot pain:

  • Consult with a podiatrist before starting an exercise routine.
  • Wear the right shoes for the right activity. Look to your podiatrist for guidance on the right type of shoe for you.
  • Avoid high-impact activities such as aerobics, step classes or running. They can put pressure equal to four times your body weight on your feet!
  • Start slowly with a low-impact activity. Walking is the best exercise for your feet!
  • Use the 10-per-cent rule. Increase the amount or intensity of your workout by only 10 per cent over the previous week.
  • Avoid treadmills and elliptical machines to minimize pounding and stress on joints.

Podiatrists are Dr.s who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders both medically and surgically. Patients do not need a referral from their family Dr. to see a podiatrist. For the location of a podiatrist near you, call 1-866-611-FEET (3338) or visit www.foothealth.ca

For more information or to arrange an interview,
contact Rhonda Trenholm 604-623-3007