Your feet are arguably one of the most important body parts you have because they are always in use. Simply put, you need them to get around, and without them you’d be sitting or lying down all day.
It really isn’t any more complicated than that. Your feet are your primary mode of transport and we really do put them through an awful lot. Think about how much weight your feet have to carry every time you walk.
Because of this, it is absolutely essential that we take care of them. Any kind of lasting damage that is inflicted on your feet or any chronic pain that you’ll be dealing with can seriously impede your day-to-day life.
And it’s hard to keep track of your foot health because we are putting them to use so often that we might feel like we don’t have time to dedicate to actually taking care of them. But we need to make time.
Here’s five tips that can help in ensuring your feet don’t suffer too much:
- Wear the Right Shoes
You should get your shoes properly fitted. Ill-fitting shoes can be hugely detrimental especially if you walk a lot while wearing them. Keeping your feet cramped and minimizing the movement they need to work properly will cause long-term problems.
Shoe size is obviously important, make sure that you are actually getting the right size, but there are other things you need to keep an eye on. You need enough room for your toes which will depend on how long they are and the shoes need to bend where your toes bend.
There also needs to be arch support otherwise you could be dealing with fallen arches over time. And get different pairs of shoes for different activities. Have a pair of running shoes for exercise or walking, boots for the winter and make sure your dress shoes aren’t too restrictive.
Also, know when to throw a pair out. They will wear down and start to fall apart over time but they also might change shape which will potentially limit how well they fit you. So if you start to feel uncomfortable in them, it’s probably time for a change.
- Take Good Care of Your Nails
Toenails are very prone to problems. If you don’t take proper care of them it can lead to things like ingrown toenails, fungus or other kinds of infections which can get really problematic if left untreated.
First step to ensuring this doesn’t happen to you is keeping them trimmed. First of all, long toenails can cut into your other toes and that can cause infections and they can also push against the inside of your shoes which will cause trauma to the nail plate.
So cut them as soon as you start to see any kind of length. And use an actual nail clippers and not a scissors. If you do end up with an infection or an ingrown nail, don’t try and treat it yourself, see a doctor or you might risk further damage.
The skin on the soles of your feet does not have any oil glands, which means that it’s one of the parts of your body that doesn’t naturally hydrate. And this is a problem when you consider the fact that you’re on them all day.
You should wash and dry your feet thoroughly before you settle down for the night. Consider using a foot spa every once in a while just to give your feet a dedication hydration treatment. And then you should also moisturize.
The best type of moisturizing creams that you should look for should include petrolatum or lactic acid because these will help to draw moisture to the skin. Do this on a daily basis to avoid dry, cracked skin which can make your feet susceptible to pain and infection.
Most everyone enjoys a good foot massage but for the most part we tend to think of it as more of a luxury and a way to relax than anything else and not something that is truly beneficial to our wellbeing.
But that’s not really the case. Getting a foot massage can improve circulation, it can reduce tension in the muscles of your feet and ease the pain of a hard few days of work and make your life a bit easier.
Now I’m not really suggesting that you should go and get a professional foot massage every couple of days because that would cost a fortune but you can do it yourself. You can actually get a lot of the benefits of a foot massage by doing it yourself.
So carve out some time in the evenings every two or three days to work on your feet in this way and you’ll notice the difference.
- Get Support if You Need It
The purpose of the arch of your foot is to evenly distribute across your feet which helps with stability and balance and it effectively aligns your body. The more pressure you put on them, the more likely your arch is to collapse.
It’s a common problem among overweight people and as you get older you’re more susceptible. General overuse can lead to the posterior tibial tendon to weaken and this can lead to collapsing arches.
You’ll be able to see the regression of your arches if this is happening to you but you’ll also notice pain and balance issues. So support is important, and the best solution to it is to get shoes which have arch support. Talk to a podiatrist and find out the best course of action.
Don’t neglect your poor feet. How much of this kind of care you give to them now will determine how well you are able to walk as you get older and whether or not even just a couple of steps causes you pain.
Overall, these are pretty straightforward steps and easy enough to incorporate into your daily life so for your own benefit you might as well take note.