The foot and ankle contain 26 bones, 33 ligaments, and over 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Yet, it is one area of the body that often gets forgotten.
As important as your feet are, they are usually only thought of when there is a problem with them. Your feet are very complex.
As a busy person, you have many responsibilities. Your foot problems can wait…right? Your mind is tired, you’re emotionally drained, and your body is exhausted. The only thing keeping you standing right now are your feet. They are your superstars!
Your feet keep you balanced and upright while taking the impact of your full body weight. Now that’s a feat!
But as life happens, so does foot problems.
75% of Americans will experience foot problems at one time or another in their lives.
We are talking injuries, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, foot odour, fungal infections, cracked skin, as well as the effects of wearing improper footwear. There are a bundle of foot problems that can occur in this complex area. Most of these problems can be avoided with some regular TLC. As luxurious as it might be to get a daily foot massage or to spend an evening soaking your feet in milk and honey baths, there are other was to get easy TLC each and every day (some of them with no extra effort at all).
5 Ways To Healthy Happy Feet
A daily routine of foot care is all that is needed to keep your feet healthy and functioning properly.
1. Wear Comfortable and Supportive Shoes
I know, I KNOW — some of the cutest shoes do not provide the most comfort. As a woman who feels like a rocking diva in any heels, I can attest that comfort does not come in the form of heels. When it comes to heels or your cutest uncomfortable shoes, wear them like they are worth a million bucks — sparingly!
Focusing on wearing comfortable shoes the majority of the time will help improve your foot health in many ways.
The “good shoes” checklist
- Replace your running shoes every 300 miles.
- Nice flats or boots can usually be fixed, but watch for cracking on the upper part, softening in the soles, and damage to toe boxes.
- Check high heels for the same concerns, as well as for exposed nails, an indicator you need a new heel lift.
- Check sandals for loose or broken straps.
- Repair, recycle, or toss out when appropriate.
- Make sure that your shoes have a proper fit. If shoes are too tight they can cause hammer toes, ingrown toenails, corns, and foot pain. If they are too big, your heels will not sit securely in the shoes and this can cause blisters, calluses, sore heels, and increase wear on your shoes. Wearing shoes that do not support your arch can cause plantar fasciitis and other foot discomfort.
- Leather and cotton are your best options because they allow your feet to breathe and release moisture.
Be aware of timing
During the day, your feet can swell up to half a size larger. It is best to shop for shoes later in the day instead of in the morning. This will ensure that you have the best-fitting shoe.
2. Take a Walk
Your feet are full of muscles and those muscles need exercise too. Sitting and standing for long periods can cause tightness and weakness in those precious little piggies. Get up and walk (even if it is short distances) or move around — it is good for strengthening the muscles of the feet and stretching out your tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Just make sure that you are walking with those comfortable shoes!
3. Wash Your Feet Every Day
Goodbye stinky feet! Because your feet are trapped in shoes all day, the sweat and moisture that builds up is the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi to grow. Especially between the toes. This can lead to unpleasant foot odors, infections, and other skin conditions. This would be a perfect time to indulge in a relaxing bath and an exfoliating foot scrub. Just make sure to scrub between the toes and to dry your feet completely!
4. Massage and Moisturize
After a long day of being on your feet, those muscles can get T.I.R.E.D. I don’t have to tell you that, though. One of the best things you can do, for loosening up tight muscles and for giving you a good dose of stress relief is to massage and moisturize those feet.
The moisturizing helps them to remain soft and prevent extra drying. Not only does it feel luxurious and soft feet typically feel better than cracked, scaly feet, but it also helps to cut down on infection from potentially cracking skin. The key with moisturizing? Don’t put it between the toes.
5. Pull Your Toes
Toe tugging is beneficial for a few reasons. Bend your forefinger and middle finger and pull on each toe vigorously, waking up the tiny joints and releasing stagnation from the area. Grab a reflexology chart, and you’ll see that the toes relate greatly to the eyes, ears, sinus’ and brain functions, yet they are usually the ones that suffer the most in our shoes. Tug at your toes and see if this brings any extra sinus relief.
Tell me, what are your tips for maintaining healthy and happy feet?
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