Healthy feet, happy feet
Our feet don't usually get much attention but when you consider that most of us log an average of 75000 miles on them by the time we reach age 50 it's clear we should think about them more. Taking care of your feet can ensure they get you where you want to go — and help keep the rest of you in tip-top shape.
Why healthy feet matter
Your feet might be small but they've got a big job. An intricate network of muscles ligaments 26 bones and 33 joints works together to move you forward helping you get around and perform the activities that you enjoy every day.
But that's not all. By supporting your body's weight your feet serve as the essential foundation for the rest of your body. Without healthy feet you're more likely to develop knee hip and lower back problems says the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society.
In addition to supporting your body foot health can often serve as a clue to your overall health. Joint stiffness in your feet could mean that you have arthritis while numbness or tingling might signal diabetes. Swelling could indicate problems like kidney disease heart disease or high blood pressure.
Healthy feet are essential for an overall healthy body. Here are some simple ways to treat them right:
- Choose the right shoes. Shoes with high heels pointy toes or thin soles can put unneeded pressure on your feet leading to pain. Instead choose comfortable shoes with a low or no heel and a shock-absorbent sole. The material should be breathable — think leather or canvas — and the shoes should feel comfortable as soon as you put them on.
- Say yes to socks. Sweaty feet can cause blisters rashes and even eczema. Wear thick soft cotton socks to help draw moisture away from feet and change them every day to avoid foot odor.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can put excess pressure on the bones and joints in your feet which may cause strain or injury.
- Avoid standing for long periods. Standing for hours on end can strain your feet and cause swelling. If you work at a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time wear comfortable shoes and stand on a shock-absorbing surface whenever possible.
- Exercise your feet. Walking helps maintain good blood flow in your feet and keeps your foot muscles strong. You can also stretch and strengthen your feet while sitting rotating your ankles or by curling your toes and spreading them out says the National Institutes of Health.
- Give them the once over. Regularly check your feet for problems like cuts bruises blisters sores or swelling especially if you have diabetes.
With a little TLC you can keep your feet healthy and strong so they can take you to more of the places you want to go. Are you ready to take the first step toward healthy feet?