Your feet literally are the foundation for your running. To make sure you have healthy feet and legs, you need to take special care to make sure they stay happy. Here are some tips, courtesy of Amy Minkel, an owner of area Fleet Feet stores:

Start with the right sized shoe.

Make sure to get a professional to fit your feet for the correct-sized shoe, ensuring that the shoe is appropriate for the activity you’re planning. “Foot shape, volume, length and width should be considered when choosing a shoe,” Minkel said. “The correct shoe should be comfortable right from the start and not need a ‘break-in’ period.”

Pay attention to socks.

The proper sock can help prevent issues such as blisters, hot spots and fungal infections, Mikel added. “A sock made from a technical, moisture-wicking fabric is key. Avoid cotton as it traps moisture against the skin and loses its shape as it takes on moisture.”

Loosen up.

Minkel said if you take care of  your muscles before, during and after a run, they will take care of you.  She encourages runners to do a proper warm-up prior to a run or walk to get leg and foot muscles ready. After the workout, make sure to stretch. “Using massage tools to keep your muscles loose can also help avoid injuries.”

Remember to hydrate.

Because muscles are about 79% water, drinking water daily will help keep them more pliable and resistant to injury. Minkel added that replacing electrolytes after workouts also helps people to absorb water properly.

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