As the Olympics are coming to a close, it has gotten us thinking: as an athlete, are you prepared to protect your feet from pain and injury? As Chicago podiatrists, we understand the importance of remaining active as athletes and one injury can prevent you from participating in your sporting event. To help you remain in the game, let’s take a look at some helpful tips provided by our podiatrists in Chicago to help you protect your feet, while remaining active. Overuse, improper footwear or poor training cause most sport-related injuries. In order to help prevent these injuries from occurring: Begin with Moving Your Muscles – By warming up properly before you exercise, run or begin playing a sport, you are helping to prevent straining your muscles. Use Caution – It is important to pay attention when walking or running on uneven surfaces. Even if your sporting event takes place on a basketball court where the floors are even, you might find yourself practicing on uneven surfaces for other sports, so be careful. Support Your Feet – Wear shoes that offer proper support for your foot and are designed for your specific sport. By wearing shoes that are not made for your individual activity, you are setting yourself up for injury. Build Strength – When remaining active in sports, it is important to maintain good muscle strength and flexibility through stretching and exercise. By maintaining strength and flexibility, you can protect yourself even more from injury. Don’t Rush – Take your time. When starting a new exercise program, begin slowly and progress gradually. By exercising too long or too hard you are increasing your chances of injury. Play it Safe – When experiencing pain, do not ignore it. If you experience pain, remember to rest. By ignoring your symptoms and signs of an injury, you are increasing your chances of worsening your symptoms, which could keep you out of the game forever. It is never normal to experience pain in your feet or ankles. Remember to exercise with caution when training in order to prevent serious injury. If you experience pain, please visit our Chicago podiatrists at Affiliated Podiatrists, Ltd. We can diagnose your condition and provide you with the proper care to keep you in the game!