Bunions can make walking – not to mention jogging or running – pretty uncomfortable. But exercise is key to many aspects of health, and it's important not to let your bunions get in the way of being able to live your life comfortably. Luckily, bunions don't have to be debilitating.    

Exercise That Won't Strain Bunions

When it comes to exercising with bunions, low-impact exercise is key. Unfortunately, this means that if you've been incorporating "lifestyle" exercise into your day – like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking from the far side of the parking lot – you may have to cut down on those exercises.

However, there are plenty of enjoyable low-impact exercises. Swimming and bicycling are very popular, and thanks to bike machines and indoor pools, they can be done year-round. And remarkably few people incorporate weight-lifting into their exercise, possibly because of the myth that it will cause them to bulk up with visible muscles – a problem women, in particular, worry about. But in fact, weight-lifting can help strengthen the muscles throughout your body, helping you hold yourself with proper posture and walk with a good stance, reducing strain on your bunions from everyday activity.

Comfortable Shoes

While the link between wearing high heels and getting bunions is still being reviewed, it's clear that – once you have bunions – high heels are a bad idea. Instead, look for wide-toed shoes that don't put pressure on the joints of your feet when you walk in them. The lower the heel, the better, as less weight will be placed on the balls of your feet.

Orthotic Shoes

If choosing more comfortable shoes isn't making a difference, it may be time for orthotics. It's unfortunate that so many people imagine orthotics as being ugly custom shoes – while this may have been the case in the past, it certainly isn't today. In fact, many people can visit a podiatrist and get custom orthotic inserts for their everyday shoes that will help with weight distribution and joint stress reduction.

Even if orthotic shoes are required, they come in a wider range of styles than ever before. By having shoes that are custom-made with your joint structure in mind, you can make walking and normal activity much more comfortable.

Bunion Surgery

If your bunions are particularly problematic, it's important to remember that you can do more than manage the condition. No amount of orthotics will cure bunions, so if you are having pain that interferes with your daily life, it's time to consider surgery. Luckily, bunion surgery is almost always an outpatient surgery with fast recovery. So don't minimize your foot pain to your podiatrist; honesty will get you the treatment you need to stay active.