It’s time to get off the couch, put spring in your step, get out of the house and walk! Caring for your feet has never been so important!
Caring for Your Feet
Fresh air and warm sunshine … ahhh! Winter is over and spring has arrived! It’s time to get off the couch, put spring in your step, get out of the house and walk! But, before you run out the door, there are things to consider, especially if you have diabetes or other medical conditions that affect your feet.
Our feet are pretty amazing. In comparison to other body parts, feet are relatively small yet they have 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and numerous tendons, according to INfootandankle.com. More fascinating facts are found on Foot.com: During an average day of walking, forces on our feet equal a fully loaded cement truck. The average person walks 115,000 miles in a lifetime. Sweat glands in the feet produce half a pint of perspiration daily and those 26 bones are one-quarter of all the bones in our body! These facts illustrate the importance of our feet, so there is a great need to keep them in good condition.
Tips on Caring for Your Feet
How do we give our feet the care they deserve? The American Diabetes Association offers these tips:
- Take care of your diabetes to avoid serious complications due to high blood glucose.
- Check your feet every day. Look for red spots, cuts, swelling, callouses and blisters. If you have diabetes, see a podiatrist for treatment.
- Keep your skin clean, soft, smooth and dry.Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes. Moisture between the toes is an incubator for bacteria, which is dangerous in the event of a cut on the foot or toe.
- Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges. If you have difficulty seeing your toenails, have your nails trimmed by a podiatrist. Safety first! Cuts open the door to serious infection.
- Keep blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for five minutes, two or three times a day. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. An unknown cut to the foot is an opening for infection. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Make sure the lining is smooth. Be sure your socks do not rub and cause blisters.
Shoes are vitally important to good foot and overall health. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, improper foot care during exercise is a contributing factor to more than 300 foot ailments. Wow! That’s 300 more reasons to take care of our feet! Each type of sport, including walking, requires its own style of shoe because feet perform different actions based on the sport. In addition, INfootandankle.com shares that there are three basic foot types that decide the appropriate shoe type:
- Pronators: people with relatively flat feet which cause the ankles to roll inward
- Supinators: people with high arches who may experience too much weight on the outsides of the feet
- Normal: these folks can wear any type of walking shoe
It takes a trained eye to determine your foot type and determine the best style for your feet. Many athletic shoe stores have trained personnel or a podiatrist or orthopedist can also evaluate your feet.
Here’s to spring and taking steps to improve health. I hope to see you on the trails!
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