They’re the workhorses of our bodies, but we give them so little respect.
It’s easy to take our feet for granted. They’re just there, putting up with a host of challenges, from being jammed into high heels and elevated to unnatural heights to smothering inside sweaty socks or tight nylon pantyhose. While suffering those indignities, our feet take hundreds of tons of force impact just during an average day of walking. That pounding explains why feet are the body part most likely to get injured.
You don’t need an expensive spa treatment to take care of your feet. Spending just a few minutes a day on foot care and choosing the right shoes can keep you free of problems that may lead to pain and even disability. These ideas can help your feet feel great:
Make a point to wash your feet (and between your toes!) with a washcloth carefully and regularly. Yes, that means bending over in the shower to soap them up; if you can’t balance safely, use a long-handled shower brush or sit on a chair outside the tub as you wash your feet under the faucets. Be sure to dry feet completely, including between the toes. This wash-and-dry system lessens problems such as athlete’s foot, odor, bacteria and fungus.
If you like to soak your feet, forget the Epsom salts they’re too drying and don’t offer any medical benefit. Instead, just use warm (never hot) water and a little liquid soap, such as dishwashing solution, containing skin softeners.
Moisturize your feet after washing. During dry-skin winter months, you may want to moisturize several times a day. Nothing fancy is needed: basic lotions and creams are fine.
Alternate the shoes you wear each day. That may mean having two pairs of your favorite everyday style, but shoes need time to air out to avoid triggering foot ordor or infections. Change socks or stockings more than once a day. If you have a problem with smelly feet, soak them in a mixture of vinegar and water.
Your feet should not hurt ever. Tight shoes can worsen bunions, distort toe shape and cause painful foot growths. If you wear high heels, choose heels that are wide, stable and no higher than two inches. Toe boxes should be wide; pointed toes shouldn’t begin their narrowing shape until well past the ball of the foot. To protect your Achilles tendon from shortening, alternate heel heights regularly.
Flip-flops and completely flat shoes don’t provide arch support. Neither does walking barefoot. Women are especially prone to developing flat feet, which can lead to other foot problems. To keep feet strong and healthy, minimize the amount of time you wear shoes that lack supportive arches.
Pregnancy, aging and diabetes all affect your feet. Pregnant Women need shoes with broad heels, arch support and good shock absorbency. Added pregnancy weight may cause your shoe size to change, so get your feet measured. Older women lose some of the cushioning fat on the balls of their feet; choose shoes that provide more shock protection. Diabetics can develop serious conditions related to the feet and lower legs. Check feet for any problems daily and see a podiatric physician at least annually.
Be cautious about having a pedicure in a salon, where cleanliness of tubs and instruments is vital. If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor before having a pedicure.
Wash Your Feet and Between the Toes
This should be done regularly and carefully with a washcloth. Be sure to dry your feet completely after they have been thoroughly washed. This will prevent the onset of fungus, athlete’s foot, bacteria as well as foot odor.
Avoid Epsom Salts
Should you enjoy socking your feet, avoid the use of Epsom salts. They are far too drying and offer no actual medical benefit for your feet and toes. A plausible option is the use of warm water with a minute amount of liquid soap that contains skin softeners.
For those that tend to have issues with foot odor, you will want to soak your feet in a mixture of warm (NEVER hot) water and vinegar.
After completely washing and drying your feet, especially during the winter months, moisturize. It is best to moisturize your feet several times per day (especially during the dry skin winter months). Basic creams and lotions are perfectly fine for this, there is no need to invest in fancy and expensive moisturizers.
Each day, it is important to alternate the shoes that you wear. This may entail having two pair of your favorite everyday shoes to wear. Your shoes need time to air out in order to avoid the generation of infections and/or foot odor. Additionally, stockings or socks will need to be changed more than one time per day.
Avoid Pain Triggers
It is NOT normal for your feet to hurt EVER. Shoes that are tight have the ability to cause painful growths on the foot, distort the shape and worsen bunions. If you are prone to the wearing of high heels, it is best to choose those that are no higher than two inches, stable as well as wide. The toes boxes of the shoes should be wide and pointed toes should not begin to narrow until they are well past the ball of the foot. In order to protect the Achilles tendon from becoming shortened, it is best to alternate heel heights regularly.
Maintain Arch Support
Walking about in either barefoot or in flip flop provide zero arc support. Given that women are extremely prone to the development of flat feet that can lead to foot issues, it is best that they especially avoid this practice. In order to keep your feet healthy and strong, it is imperative that you minimize the amount of time spent wearing shoes that lack proper arch support.
Change According to Life
Diabetes, aging as well as pregnancy can affect your feet. Women that are pregnant will need t opt for footwear with broad heels, good shock absorption and arch support. Older women will need to reduce some of the cushioning of their shoes at the balls of their feet and opt for shoes that are outfitted with enhanced shock absorption.
Individuals that are currently suffering from diabetes have the ability to develop serious conditions that are related to their lower legs and feet. Therefore they will need to check their feet for any issues each day as well as consult with a podiatrist annually.
Be Cautious of Salon Pedicures
When it comes to a pedicure, the cleanliness and the instruments and the tubs are vital in regards to your overall foot health. Therefore, be thoroughly aware of the sanitary conditions of the salon that you patronize; and those suffering from diabetes should consult with a medical professional before embarking upon one.
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