Exercise: How to Get Started

Frequently Asked Questions

11. Do I need special shoes or clothing?

For many activities, you don't need any special clothing. Most often, any comfortable, loose-fitting clothes will do. If it's cold, wear several layers of light clothing, which you can remove as needed.

Shoes are an important part of your physical activity routine. Remember, you're going to be wearing them a lot. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.

  • Choose shoes that are made for the type of physical activity you want to do (walking, running, dancing, bowling, tennis). Athletic shoes with good padding, arch supports, and uppers that allow air to circulate around your feet are ideal.
  • Look for shoes with flat, non-skid soles, good heel support, enough room for your toes, and a cushioned arch that's not too high or too thick. Avoid shoes with thick, heavy soles.
  • If tying shoes is difficult, look for ones with Velcro® fasteners.
  • Make sure your shoes fit well and provide proper support for your feet. This is especially important if you have diabetes or arthritis. Shoes should feel comfortable right from the start.
  • The size of your feet changes as you grow older so always have your feet measured before buying shoes. The best time to have your feet measured is at the end of the day when your feet are largest. Be sure new shoes feel good on your feet while you are still in the store -- uncomfortable spots will probably not get better.
  • If you have diabetes, break in new shoes gradually to avoid blisters and sore spots.