Weight Loss Is a Gain For Your Feet


When it comes to reasons for losing weight, your feet may not be at the top of your list. But, at NY Foot Health, we’d like patients to know that being overweight is definitely detrimental for the health of your feet. “Our feet carry our entire body weight around and the more you weigh, the harder they work to support you,” says NYSPMA President, Dr. Paul Liswood. Being overweight or obese puts excessive strain on your arch and your tendons and is associated with an increased risk of chronic foot and ankle pain. This can create changes in your posture and your gait and result in knee, hip and back issues. Finally, being overweight can increase the chance of developing other systemic health problems that affect your feet, including:

  • Gout

This is a far-reaching concern. It’s estimated that 74% of overweight Americans have foot problems and in New York, 39% of the population is obese. Podiatrists have a key role to play in helping patients find ways to manage their weight and improve their quality of life. A study has shown that obese patients being treated for foot problems by a podiatrist can result in a 19% reduction in the chances of them being hospitalized in the future. If you are experiencing foot pain, you should consult your podiatrist for ways to get relief. If you don’t currently have a podiatrist, consult our online directory.

Getting the Scale to Go Down

In addition to a healthy eating plan, exercise can help you lose weight. If you’re obese, however, it may be too uncomfortable to workout and cause a vicious cycle of inactivity leading to more weight gain. Below are some suggestions for breaking the cycle and moving toward a healthy weight:

  • Try fitness activities that are not weight bearing such as swimming or using a stationary bike. Start slowly and set small, attainable goals. Strive for consistency not intensity or duration.

  • Wear shoes that have good arch support. In addition, look for styles that have laces or Velcro straps to help stabilize feet and support your ankles.

  • Find ways to add more steps to your day. Park a little farther away from your office or stores, walk while you talk on the phone, etc.

  • Spend active time with family and friends. Raking leaves, taking a walk or going swimming together can all be ways to connect and foster a more active lifestyle to help manage your weight.

For more information on conditions that can affect the health of your feet, contact us.