What you can do to treat your bottom dwellers like the top dogs.
There are lots of body parts that get lots of attention. Your face has all sorts of special cleansers and creams. Your abs get worked out day in and day out as you search for the perfect swimsuit shape. And your biceps go through enough of a routine to be awarded their own gym membership. But what are you doing for your feet? If it’s nothing special, it may be time to change.
Here’s why to give your feet a little extra TLC and how to do it on a daily basis.
They may be way down on the ground, but your feet ought to be on the top of your mind if you want optimal overall health. Neglect your feet and over time, they can suffer damage that makes it hard to do all the things you enjoy in life, such as play with your children, drive a stick shift, and even walk without pain.
Since your feet also give you an early indication of whether various diseases are setting in, (See “From the Feet”) pay careful attention to what they have to say. When you’re ready to take your walkers to an improved level of health, try out the tips below.
Wear the Right Shoes. You may think that fashion has to be painful. But if you’re wearing shoes that cause any kind of pain, there’s a problem. Instead of suffering through a day of gorgeous shoes that leave you in excruciating pain, only wear shoes that fit well the first time you try them on. Expecting shoes to break in forces your feet to hurt until they do.
Put on Better Shoes When Possible. Though you may choose the best possible dress shoes to wear at work, they may not have the support you need for long-term wear. If possible, keep a pair of comfortable tennis shoes or other shoes with good support at the office. When you’re going to be sitting behind your desk or not interacting with clients for a long period, slip on your tennies. Or go barefoot! Just keep your shoes nearby in case you need to slip them on quickly.
Wash Well. Keeping your feet clean isn’t just to avoid smelly feet. Whether you walk around barefoot in the gym, wear flip-flops to the store, or stay in socks all day long, there is the potential to pick up unwanted hitchhikers. With proper washing, bacteria and fungus that may build up on your feet during the day are washed away. When washing, don’t scour your feet with scalding hot water. For the best clean, use lukewarm water and a mild soap. And don’t scrub the area between your toes dry, as this can cause damage. Instead, gently pat the area dry.
Cut Across. Your toenails due for a good trim? Don’t try to cut them in a beautifully manicured half-moon shape. Instead, cut straight across the nail, careful to not cut your nails too short. Otherwise, you could wind up with painful hangnails that sound harmless but have the potential to keep you off your feet.
Go Pro. Want the best foot care from your toes to your arch to your heel? Visit a local massage therapist for a quick foot massage. Think there’s something suspicious going on with your feet? You may need to visit a podiatrist or other medical pro. That way, if there’s anything going on with your feet that could lead to something more serious, you can find out before it impacts more than your feet.
From the Feet
Are your feet tingling? It could be diabetes. Stiff? You may be suffering from arthritis. Swelling? High blood pressure, kidney disease, or heart disease may be the cause.