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Preventing numb feet on the elliptical trainer

December 7, 2012

Exercisers with joint injuries often flock toward the low-impact workout of an elliptical trainer. Because your feet never come off the elliptical's pedals, you can run as fast as you want without having to endure the usual impact with every footfall. But as Dr. Mi`chele S. Olson, an exercise physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine, explains, the pedal-based workout can also contribute to what some have dubbed "numb foot" or "sleepy-foot syndrome."

"The constant pressure on the foot can compress both the nerves serving the muscles in the feet as well as the blood vessels that supply oxygen-fresh blood to the foot muscles," she explained in an email interview. Dr. Olson also warned that wearing too-tight shoes, or shoes with a lot of wear and little padding, can increase your likelihood of numb feet during an elliptical trainer workout.

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