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Foot Care Guide

Routine Foot Care: Daily Tips To Keep Your Feet Injury-Free

Routine Foot Care: Footwear Fundamentals

Too Much Time In Your Boots Can Mean Too Much Sweat And Odor

Treating Common Foot Issues
  • Dry/Cracked Skin
  • Blisters
  • Aches And Pains
  • Calluses
  • Fungus
  • As an intense physical job, farming can be pretty hazardous at times, particularly for your poor feet. But often, taking care of our feet is the furthest thing from our minds.

    Neglecting your feet can lead to any number of common foot injuries, including plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, sprains, calluses, and blisters. You might also run into simple aches and pain.

    Thankfully, many of the injuries listed above are preventable. You just need to take a few steps of precaution.

    Proper footwear. Wearing the right footwear is the best step that you can take to prevent injury, hands-down. Proper boots will not only keep your feet and ankles well-supported, but will also help protect you from workplace injuries like slips, falls, or mistakes with machinery.

    Switch up your posture. Farming involves a lot of standing, walking, and crouching. So when you can do a task sitting down, do it! Bring a crate, stool, or tarp if you need to. Your feet need to rest regularly to prevent foot damage.

    Vary your tasks. Whenever possible, make sure to vary your tasks so that you’re not spending too long of a period doing one thing. For example, you can switch from a task that requires standing to a task that requires walking.

    Keep feet dry. Soggy boots lead to blisters and fungus, plain and simple. See above for more tips on keeping your feet dry and bacteria-free.

    Exfoliate often. Calluses can be unsightly, but more importantly, they can be uncomfortable enough to affect your work, which can lead to further injury. Soak your feet and then exfoliate with a pumice stone, foot file, or gentle foot scrub.

    Don’t ignore pain. Your feet shouldn’t hurt! If you notice persistent aching, joint pain, heel pain, head to the doctor to get your feet checked out. Most of these problems will only get worse over time if they’re ignored.

    Stretching. Just like your other muscles, your feet need to be stretched properly to prevent injury. There are a wide range of foot stretches that you can do. Some activities, like yoga, are also a great option. Start gentle at first, but stretch every day for best results.

    One example of a popular foot stretch is the “foot roll,” in which you take a golf ball (or similar round object) and roll it back and forth from your toes to your heels. Another common stretch is the “towel stretch”: sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Place a towel around your toes, and pull the towel towards you. Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds and then release. This helps prevent plantar fasciitis, a common injury.

    Massage. When you’re on your feet all day, massages are not a luxury, they’re a necessity. Massages relax your foot muscles, relieve joint pain and aches, and prevent injuries such as plantar fasciitis.

    If you don’t have a willing partner or trusty nearby spa, give yourself a foot massage instead. Bend one leg and rest your foot on the opposite thigh. Then gently rub a natural oil into your skin and nails. Hold your foot with both hands and press into the skin. For a deeper massage, press your knuckles into your foot and knead it like dough.

    Rest. Healthy feet need two basic things: exercise and rest. Farming provides the exercise, so you must provide the rest.

    Foot Skin Care

    Beyond keeping your feet injury-free, you probably also want feet that you can proudly wear in sandals if you feel like it. Farming is definitely hard on the skin on your feet, but there are lots of things that you can do to keep your feet smooth, soft, and pretty.

    Wash thoroughly. When you wash your feet, make sure to do so thoroughly, including between your toes and under your toenails.

    Moisture, moisture, moisture. This one simple step makes a huge difference when it comes to how soft and touchable your feet are. Use your favorite lotion or cream; coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter are three great natural options. During the winter months, you may have to moisturize your feet more than once a day or use a richer cream.

    One more reason to exfoliate. It’s important to get rid of all those dead skin cells on your feet, which contribute to calluses and other issues. While your feet are damp, use a pumice stone or foot file on your heels and any calluses. You can also make a foot scrub using sugar, salt or other plant-based ingredients. Just make sure to moisturize afterward!

    Foot soaks. For an extra treat, soak your feet in hot water and epsom salts with a moisturizing soap. This softens the skin, prepping it for exfoliation and moisture, while also soothing and relaxing your foot muscles.

    Sunscreen. You probably know how important it is to wear sunscreen, but don’t forget your ankles and feet if they’re exposed to the sun.

    Toenail care. For low-maintenance toenail care, keep your toenails trimmed and cleaned. Moisturize your cuticles with vitamin E oil or cuticle cream.

    If you’re into pedicures, choose your nail salon carefully – foot baths can be a breeding ground for foot fungus, so only go to salons that use a fresh disposable bag for each new customer. Also, look for natural nail polish and nail polish remover if possible, as many of the chemicals in nail polish can dry out the nails and make them brittle.

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    Routine Foot Care: Footwear Fundamentals

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    Chocolate Mint From Your Garden? Yes!

    Ever wished that chocolate grew on trees? The next best thing would be to grow it in
    your garden, among your culinary herbs. That is possible, thanks to the seemingly
    endless diversity of the mint family.

    As its name suggests, chocolate mint is a herb that tastes like an after dinner mint. It
    shouldn’t exist, but maybe it does because Mother Nature thought – “Hey! Let’s try that!”
    She’s female, after all. But the fact is that it tastes wonderful and is so easy to grow that
    you use it any time you want (or just chew on the leaves while you are gardening).

    It does have a look of chocolate with brown-tinged leaves, but not everyone agrees that
    it deserves the name. There is a controversy about the chocolate taste – is it real or not?
    The general consensus among lovers of this herb is that it is definitely different from
    other mints, with an underlying richness that works with a variety of recipes. According
    to the Canadian nursery Richters, the herb has a striking ‘peppermint patty’ scent that
    convinced them to stock it.

    Try your local nursery, which can probably order it for you, or you can get it online.
    When you do get your hands on one, you can stick it virtually anywhere in the garden,
    because it is so hardy. It prefers cooler zones and afternoon shade but potting this plant
    is best because it is also enthusiastically rampant, like most mints, and virtually
    impossible to kill. Even a mint that tastes like chocolate can become a nuisance when it
    invades every part of your garden.

    The temptation to plunder the leaves will be strong from the fragrance alone, but let it
    get some growth on before you start ripping them off. As soon as there is some decent
    growth, start by trying chocolate mint tea. Just strip a few leaves, bruise them gently to
    release the vital oils and drop them in a tea pot. Pour over hot water and steep for five
    minutes – done! To make it even more delicious, add it to coffee for a mocha treat or
    strain and add hot milk and marshmallows. You can dry the leaves like any other herb
    and crumble them for flavoring cookies, cake or ice cream.

    If you love chocolate liqueur, you can make your own by cramming chocolate mint
    leaves into a large bottle and pour over enough vodka to fill it up. Leave in a cool dry
    place for a month or two (the longer you leave it the more delicious it gets) then strain
    and enjoy a sip on February 19 – that’s National Chocolate Mint Day and a great excuse
    to celebrate!

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