Your feet take a pounding. They have to bear the weight of your body with every step you take! It is important to give your feet the proper attention they deserve by keeping them healthy and strong. Here are a few simple tips to keep your feet happy and pain-free.
1. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight can put added pressure on the feet and ankles and cause problems such as sore joints, heel pain and arthritis. Studies have shown that even a modest weight loss can decrease the strain on the lower extremities, improving painful issues and preventing further damage. It is difficult to lose weight when you have foot issues so choose an exercise that is low impact such as riding a stationary bike. And of course, eat a healthy diet.
2. Don’t Ignore Foot Pain
Foot pain can be caused by a number of factors and should not be ignored. Seek medical treatment when the pain is persistent. Issues such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, bunions, arthritis, and infections respond better to treatment when detected early. When left untreated, conditions can worsen leading to more serious issues. See your family doctor who can then refer you to a specialist if need be. Foot pain can seriously affect your quality of life, both mentally and physically. Healthy feet are needed to carry out different tasks during the course of the day and when your feet are sore, even the simplest of tasks can seem difficult. Most people don’t realize how important their feet are until they experience pain. Treat minor problems before they become major.
3. Keep Feet Dry and Clean
Good hygiene is important for healthy feet. Although it seems like common sense, it is worth mentioning. Clean and scrub your feet daily. Dry thoroughly including between the toes. Fungus thrives in moisture and would love to live in there! While doing this, examine the feet for nail fungus, athlete’s foot, sores, or infections.
4. Foot Massage or Reflexology
Treat your feet to a relaxing foot massage or reflexology session especially if you spend long hours on them or are physically active. These treatments can increase circulation, stimulate muscles, and reduce pain and swelling not only in your feet but in other areas of the body.
4. Strengthen Feet by Walking Barefoot
It’s so exhilarating to kick off your shoes and walk barefoot! Not only does it feel great but walking barefoot may help to strengthen the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the feet. However, there are many situations where it may be more beneficial to wear shoes. Unfortunately, many athletic shoes provide too much cushioning and support to allow the foot to move freely, causing the feet to become immobile and weak. Studies have shown that wearing barefoot shoes (also known as zero-drop or minimalist shoes) can help to strengthen the feet. Walking or running in a shoe that has a very flexible sole with minimal support will let the foot go through its full range of motion. Muscles will be activated and can gradually strengthen. Tight fitting shoes can lead to injuries and deformities. A minimalist shoe has a wide toe box that allows the foot to spread out engaging more muscles and tendons and providing a wider base for better balance.