Naturally, you want to have optimal foot health all year long – but this is especially true once we shed winter here in Northeast Ohio!
With spring upon us now, it’s time to start getting out and participating in springtime activities.
Sure, there are dedicated runners in our communities who don the appropriate apparel and gear and maintain their training program throughout the winter—and we certainly admire those of you who do—but most of us opt for indoor activities during our colder months.
As the days start to warm up, this will start to change. We’ll have more opportunities to participate in the various outdoor activities our communities have to offer.
Of course, you probably won’t be incredibly enthusiastic about participating if you have foot or ankle pain. Further, a lower limb injury or medical condition can reduce your options. Depending on the nature of the issue, you might need to keep clear of certain activities.
We don’t want foot or ankle pain to take away your options! If you have any lower limb problems, come and see us. We’ll create a customized treatment plan to address the issue for you.
Being proactive and seeking early medical intervention can help you stay active and enjoy local springtime activities like:
- Running with a local group. One of the great things about running as an exercise is that it’s perfect for both those who wish to run alone or with others. Some people love being alone with their thoughts while logging the miles. For those who prefer a more social experience, though, you might want to consider checking out the Cleveland West Road Runners Club (CWRRC) or the running groups organized by Second Sole (in Lakewood).
There are a couple of advantages to running with groups like these. Running groups are great if you don’t feel comfortable trying to map your own route. They also provide you with extra motivation to keep up with your training program. And when the going gets tough, your group can be an awesome support network, one that will cheer you on and providing motivation to keep going the distance.
- Running solo. Now, there are many great aspects to running with others—no matter if that means a pack or a running partner—but some people love the peace and serenity of doing it by themselves, and that’s cool as well. If you want to head out on your own, we have some great resources here in Northeastern Ohio, including the West Creek Reservation and its stunning natural beauty. (If you do, make sure you wear trail-running shoes!)
- Cycling. As is the case with running, cycling is a great outdoor activity that provides an array of different options to get in a good workout. Obviously, you can always cycle by yourself—perhaps at the Cleveland Metroparks (taking advantage of the over 100 miles of all-purpose trails)—but there are also local options for those who wish to cycle in a pack.
A couple of particularly interesting options we have locally are Cleveland Critical Mass cycling and the Velodrome. Critical Mass is a monthly event wherein cyclists congregate on the last Friday of the Month at Public Square. This is actually part of a nationwide movement to build awareness of cycling and safety issues (along with connected with fellow cycling enthusiasts). More information can be found on the Cleveland Critical Mass Facebook page.
With regards to the Cleveland Velodrome, this is a track for outdoor Olympic-style competitive cycling. If you have ever seen the sprint cycling events during summer Olympics, you can likely picture this track in your mind. If you haven’t, you can see actual pictures of the track on the Cleveland Velodrome Facebook page or on their website.
- Geocaching. If you aren’t already familiar with this particular outdoor activity, you can think of it as being a “treasure hunt” of sorts. (Although, if you think the “treasure” is going to be something like a chest of gold, you may want to temper those expectations a bit.)
Conceived in around 2000, this is actually a modern take on a 160-year-old game called letterboxing. As with letterboxing, clues and references to landmarks are strategically placed in various outdoor areas and hiding spots. The modern update at the turn of the millennium came from technological advances enabling people to use GPS while hiding and seeking containers. This is a worldwide activity, so there is plenty of hunting to be done throughout our Northeast Ohio region.
- Footgolf. The odds are quite good you know what golfing is, but what about footgolf? This is an actual sport regulated by the Federation for International Footgolf (FIFG) and, as perhaps you can imagine, it combines golf with something else. Well, that “something else” is soccer! Instead of running around on a field trying to kick the ball past a goalkeeper and into the net, you use a regulation #5 soccer ball and try to kick it into a cup—which is obviously bigger than the ones for traditional golf!—using as few kicks as possible. Footgolf is offered at both Shawnee Hills (Bedford) and Mastick Woods (Cleveland).
Professional Foot Care When You Need It
Clearly, we have some incredible outdoor spring activities in our local communities. After all, we’ve only highlighted a handful, but even just these few can make your spring an active one – as long as your feet and ankles are in good health!
It is virtually impossible to overstate the importance of living an active lifestyle for your body. The benefits from regular exercise are virtually countless. Most people are well aware of at least several physical benefits, but engaging in physical activity on a regular basis provides an abundance of mental and emotional benefits as well.
We’re lucky to live in an area wherein we have so many choices for which kinds of exercises and activities we would like to do. Don’t let foot or ankle issues take away those options!
If you—or any of your loved ones—are having pain or difficulty that will keep you from getting outside and enjoying new or favorite springtime activities, contact Ripepi Foot & Ankle Clinics by calling (440) 843-3692 or connect with us online right now.