Many sports lovers and athletes already know the positive benefits of running for exercise and fun. However, because of many sports-related injuries occurring in the feet, the type of sport you are participating in could have long-term implications if proper precautions are not taken.
According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, there is a debate between many podiatrists whether runners should contact the ground with the ball of their foot or heel. For optimum foot health, it really depends on whether you are sprinting or running long distance. For sports like baseball and football, sprinters are advised to run on the balls of their feet or forefeet so that less stress is put on the calf muscles. For sports like basketball and soccer, which require running long distances, studies show that contact with the midfoot and heel are best advised for shock absorption and muscle firing, leaving foot problems and injuries at a minimum.
Your post-exercise practices are important, too. Many seasoned runners recommend picking up marbles and scrunching up towels with their toes to enhance flexibility in their feet, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Kym Klass, an avid runner and writer for the source stressed that flexibility was a key to ensure good foot health and prevent stress fractures.