It’s spring and the temperatures in our D.C. area are steadily climbing. What a great time of year to get out and do a bit of climbing yourself. There are some beautiful hiking trails in our Centreville, Virginia area and some compelling reasons to get out and walk them. Hiking can

  • Give you a break from everyday stress
  • Raise your levels of Vitamin D from exposure to the sun’s rays
  • Shake up a tired exercise routine
  • Afford you some quality time with friends and family

Take time to prepare You wouldn’t dream of deciding today to run a marathon tomorrow, so don’t make the mistake of just hopping onto a hiking trail without proper prep. Hiking puts a number of demands on your feet and ankles, the parts of your body we’re most concerned with here at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center.  Here are some actions you can take to make hiking safe and fun for you and your lower limbs:

  1. Wear the right shoes.
    Hiking presents a lot of varied surfaces – grass, rocks, gravel, streams, and uneven surfaces mean that it’s absolutely essential for you to have a supportive hiking boot. Running shoes aren’t the best choice and flip flops are out of the question, although, believe it or not, we have seen people attempting to climb a rocky slope in rubbery thongs that practically beg a broken ankle. A firm, supportive hiking boot is your best bet.
  2. Strengthen your muscles.
    If you’re not already in shape, take some time to build up core and leg strength. Fit muscles are less likely to get injured and will also help you keep your balance.
  3. Start slowly.
    Take some short trails first and work your way up to longer and longer hikes.
  4. Consider making an appointment with Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM at our office in Centreville before you hit the trails. We’ll provide you with a complete examination and determine if there are any physical problems with your feet that might get worse with exercise.

Whether you’re going out to enjoy a local afternoon hike or braving the Appalachian Trail, take time to protect your feet and ankles. Then, relax and enjoy your hike! If you do twist an ankle or experience any pain in your lower limbs, give Dr. Wilhelm a call at (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online.

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