Why do your feet go numb when you run or use the elliptical?

According to Holland, there is a nerve that runs along the top of your foot that might be pinched if you exercise with too-tight shoelaces.

The fix: When tying your shoes, skip a loop or two in the center to allow your feet some more room. Stretch your feet before exercising to give the nerve a bit more room to travel without being impinged.

Holland recommends the following two stretches:

  • Calf stretch: Face a wall that is within arm’s reach. With your right foot, take a step back and place your heel on the ground. Drive your left knee against the wall until your right calf stretches. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds before switching sides.
  • Foot stretch: Sit on a chair with socks on your feet or bare feet. Bend your foot till the tops of your toes are in contact with the floor. Gently press your foot into the floor until tension is felt in the top of your foot. For 20 to 30 seconds, stretch each foot.

If your feet feel numb even when you’re standing, walking, or sitting, Holland advises seeing a physical therapist; these symptoms could indicate a herniated disc in your back.

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