Foot care is very important. Fail to look after your feet, and you could develop all kinds of problems that could cause discomfort and affect mobility. Below are 7 tips for keeping your feet happy and healthy.
Invest in running shoes for running
Running is a great form of exercise, but it can be punishing on your feet. It’s the leading cause of blisters, ankle injuries, foot fractures and aches like plantar fasciitis. Running shoes are designed to absorb the impact on your feet and can help to reduce the risk of all kinds of foot injuries. They aren’t cheap, but they’re a worthy purchase if you regularly go out running. You may also want to wear specialist shoes if you’re into sports that involve lots of running like netball, tennis and hockey.
Wear high heels sparingly
High heeled shoes place huge pressure on the balls of the feet. Wearing them regularly can damage toe joints and cause ankle problems (as well as damaging other parts of your body such as your knees, hips and even lower back). Consequently, you should wear these types of shoes sparingly – reserve them for special occasions.
Keep your feet dry
If feet are damp or sweaty for too long, you can increase the risk of developing fungal infections like athlete’s foot – or even problems like trench foot in extreme cases. Try not to keep your feet in water for too long and make sure they are adequately dried after. When doing long intensive exercise such as hiking, wear moisture-wicking socks to help feet breathe and consider changing socks along the way. Wear shoes like flip flops on a hot day to keep feet from getting sweaty.
Cut your toenails correctly
Cutting toenails incorrectly can increase the risk of an ingrown toenail. This can be very painful and uncomfortable, often requiring surgery to treat. To avoid this, cut toenails straight across. Don’t cut too deep in the corners.
Indulge in some foot pampering
It could be worth investing in a pedicure now and again or using a foot care gift set. Things like a foot soak can have all kinds of benefits such as improving circulation to feet and reducing inflammation. Foot files and foot scrubs can meanwhile be used to remove dead skin from feet, preventing issues like cracked heels.
Don’t be a heavy drinker
Alcohol abuse can be bad for your feet. Alcoholic neuropathy is a common health problem in heavy drinkers that results in nerve damage to hands and feet – this could result in feet feeling numb. Health issues like gout are also commonly caused by alcohol abuse – this typically causes a sharp pain in the big toe as the result of a uric crystal build-up. Watch your drinking in or to protect your feet.
Control your diabetes
If you have diabetes, it is important to keep this disease in check. Like alcohol abuse, diabetes can lead to nerve damage in the feet, causing feet to become numb. The condition is also known to lead to ulcers on the feet – if not treated these can become seriously infected and even result in amputation. You can find out more here about managing diabetes to protect your feet.