Do you realize how amazing your feet are? Your foot is the reason that you can walk from point A to point B, as they support your weight as they keep you upright. It is quite easy to take your feet for granted. When you think of caring for your overall health, what enters your mind? Does the idea of taking care of your feet come? It probably does not because you likely focus on your torso being too heavy or too thin. That is the motivator for you to stay healthy.
However, as important as it is to be in tip-top shape, don’t neglect your feet health. If your feet are not healthy, then the rest of your body suffers. Listed below are ten steps to healthy feet essential for you to know so you can keep them in great shape when playing volleyball, or competing in parkour with friends, soccer, or tennis, or really even hiking outside.
1. Take A Careful Look At Your Feet Regularly
You may find it odd to inspect your feet regularly. However, you must do so to notice anything unusual with your feet. Examine the color, shape, and texture of your feet daily. Any noticeable changes to them over a long period will mean the doctor must examine it. You may need to be referred to a podiatrist if the changes are concerning, you might just not be wearing the proper footwear though if you are training to be part of the military or are competing in outside trail hikes.
For instance, if you notice that there is an abnormal growth happening by your big toe, and if you are in a lot of pain, then you have a bunion. You cannot allow that to drag on without getting the proper care.
2. Keep Your Feet Clean
Practicing proper foot hygiene is crucial to prevent the risk of infections. It is usual for bacteria on your feet to grow, which is why they smell. However, to keep the growth to a minimum, it’s essential to wash your feet with soap and water. Wash in between your toes, and do this daily, especially on those days when you are on your feet for hours at a time. After you wash up your feet, dry them thoroughly. Keeping your feet wet will only create a bacterial breeding ground between your toes, which will defeat the purpose of keeping your feet and shoes particularly clean.
3. Keep Your Feet Hydrated
Whether it is a long cold winter, you are in the middle of or a hot, dry summer; your skin will dry out. Your feet need proper hydration regularly. Especially if you are wearing sandals during the hot, dry summer days, your feet will dry out quickly by being repeatedly exposed to the air. When moisture is lost, that causes your feet to crack and fissures to form. That will only increase your chances of developing an infection.
Keep your feet moist by putting on creams and lotions to moisturize your feet. You may need to do it daily, especially during long periods of dry weather.
4. Always Wear The Right Size Shoes
What happens to your feet if you end up wearing shoes that are the wrong size? If you wear shoes that are too small, your feet will be cramped and won’t have any flexibility to move around. Keeping your feet restricted can increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis, for instance. Not to mention, your feet will be very uncomfortable.
Don’t buy shoes that are too large, either. You will run the risk of the shoes sliding off your feet and falling as a result and injuring yourself. The bottom line is to try each pair of shoes before deciding to buy them to make sure that they fit correctly. There must be enough room in your toe box, so your toes have room to wiggle.
5. Don’t Ignore Foot Pain
If you have continuous foot pain, don’t ignore it. That type of pain that lasts for more than just a few days is not the result of your foot cramping up. There is likely an underlying reason for your feet or one of your feet to be in such pain. You could have fractured a bone in your foot without being aware of it. You may have a heel spur as the result of wearing poorly fitting shoes, or you could have flat feet.
Either way, continuous foot pain means you must see your doctor. You might need treatment from a podiatrist as well. That will depend on what the situation is that is causing your feet to be in pain.
6. Cut Your Toenails The Proper Way
How do you cut your toenails? Do you cut corners and then across the nail itself? If you are doing that, it is the incorrect way. You must cut the toenail across and leave the edges. Instead, file the corners of your toenails to shave them down. Cutting corners can easily result in ingrown toenails, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.
Filing the sharp corners of your toes is easy to do as all you need to do is take an energy board and file away. That will keep your toenails in decent shape.
7. Keep Moving
Exercise is important. How does it help your feet? When you exercise, your heart rate is going up for example in a Zumba workout. Your circulation improves. That keeps your blood flow moving, and you are removing toxins through sweat. The toxins removed that come from your feet as well, which helps keep your feet healthy. Additionally, when you exercise, you are burning calories, and that helps with weight loss.
Losing weight is something you want to do for yourself if you are overweight or obese. If your body weight is optimal, then you want to maintain. As long as you don’t have extra weight, that also means your feet are not stressed either as they support your weight to keep you upright and to move.
8. Wear A Different Pair Of Shoes Each Day
When you shop for a pair of shoes, go and shop for several pairs of shoes. Alternating your shoes every other day (use a shoe stretcher to keep the shape and form correct) is the one thing you can do to keep your feet clean and healthy. Remember that your feet have sweat glands, and that means your shoes will absorb the sweat from your feet. That’s why allowing your shoes to dry for a day before wearing them again is the best way to keep your shoes clean and your feet dry.
Keeping your feet dry is essential as it lessens the chances of bacteria breeding quickly. That is the one thing you want to avoid when aiming to keep your feet clean and healthy.
9. Don’t Walk Barefoot
Have you been walking in your bare feet in your home? You will want to stop doing that because you have a high chance of injuring your feet. It is not hygienic to do that either. Your feet can walk on the floor’s sharp objects that you would not see until you feel it, and it would hurt. You could even puncture your feet and seriously injure them.
Secondly, even if you don’t hurt your feet while walking barefoot, you can pick up fungi and other bacteria. That means you can end up with infections such as Athlete’s foot. Therefore, put your socks or slippers on when you are at home.
10. Put Sunscreen On Your Feet
If you are wearing sandals outside on a hot and sunny day, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your feet at least 15 SFP. The harmful UV rays from the sun can hurt your feet as it would do to the skin on other parts of your body. At the very least, a sunburn on your feet can be excruciating as your feet are highly sensitive.
The best thing to do is cover your feet with sunscreen before putting your sandals on and covering your feet well. That applies if you plan to be spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun.
The steps to healthy feet to take are easy to follow, and all you need to do is be consistent. Monitor your feet daily and be alert if you slowly notice any changes, this is particularly important if you are preparing for a marathon or run long distances often. If your feet are in pain, don’t ignore it either. Clean your feet thoroughly, and don’t forget to dry them up. Wear properly fitting shoes and wear different pairs of shoes daily, so they have the chance to dry up thoroughly.
Remember that when you take care of the rest of your body by staying active and eating well, you are taking care of your feet. Your feet do a lot for you and never forget how important they are.