Footcare Tips for Healthy, Happy Feet
Your feet are probably the hardest working part of your body. They move you from point A to point B carrying your full weight to get there. Yet how much attention do you really give them?
Feet require just as much attention as your hands or face. You need to clean and massage and dote on them in order to keep them healthy. If you’ve never given it much thought before, here are 10 footcare tips that can help keep your feet beautiful.
Take Your Feet for a Walk on the Beach
First up on our list of footcare tips is to give those footsies some earth and air. If you have a few hours and want to get outside and do something special for your feet, take a barefoot walk on the beach. Not only is walking barefoot in sand beneficial to your aching feet it’s a great workout for the rest of your body as well. In fact, some suggest that a walk on the beach is so relaxing many people walk further than they would on a harder surface.
As for your feet, the grains of sand at water’s edge provide a soothing massage and a free exfoliant. Clint Ober, CEO of Earth FX and a pioneer in his field, calls walking on sand Earthing. It’s about grounding the nerve endings in the bottom of your feet with the free electrons in the earth. For those without ready access to the beach, cool grass is a good substitute.
Wear the Proper Shoes
When you go somewhere, you probably put a lot of thought into what to wear. Is the scene casual, formal, business, or something else? Your shoe choice probably plays an equally important role. You want them to be stylish as well as suit the outfit. Do you ever consider comfort?
Most people think of penny loafers or nurse’s shoes when they hear the word comfortable. However, there are many more options these days and not all of them are ugly. Naturalizer and Easy Spirit offer comfortable shoes in contemporary styles. Look for shoes that offer soft, flexible uppers such as leather with solid non-slippery soles. Lower heels are more comfortable and easier on your feet. To ensure you choose the proper size, have your feet measured.
It’s not that you can’t wear those beautiful high heels to your best friend’s wedding. It’s that you need to do it in moderation. After all, you wouldn’t eat piece after piece of her wedding cake. It’s not healthy. However, you can get away with occasionally wearing high heels three to four hours for a special event. Keep in mind that if you walk around in 4-inch heels continuously, the pressure on your toes may result in bunions or even arthritis.
Bathe Your Feet, Too
Don’t get so preoccupied with washing your face, hands, and body you forget to pay attention to your feet. Feet need love, too.
Beware that bathing can increase your dry skin even on your feet. You can reduce dry skin problems by limiting bath time and avoiding the use of very hot water. Whenever you do take a bath or shower, consciously wash your feet. Rub off any dead skin, especially on your heels, with a pumice stone or foot file.
Moisturize Your Feet Every Day
One of the biggest foot problems is dry, cracked feet especially at the heel, so fourth on our list of footcare tips is proper moisturization. Cold winter months, dehydration, excessive bathing, and harsh soaps can wreak havoc on both hands and feet.
Keep them soft by making sure to use lotion after you bathe. If you find the problem is particularly bad, slather your feet with petroleum jelly and cover them with socks. Sleep like that and you’ll wake up to softer tootsies.
Put Your Feet Up
You don’t have to work in a job that has you standing most of the time to find your feet are tired at day’s end. The very act of walking will eventually wear them out.
However, standing as well as sitting can affect your circulation. Raise your feet about six inches above heart level for as little as 10 minutes a day and you’ll feel better. Additionally, limiting the amount of time you cross your legs and not smoking can help reduce leg, ankle, and foot inflammation.
Give Your Feet a Pedicure
Whether you do it yourself, have a loved one help, or get a professional to do the job, a pedicure is one of the best things you can do to keep your feet looking and feeling healthy. A pedicure can even call attention to nail diseases and foot problems.
A typical pedicure includes foot soaking, foot scrubbing, nail clipping and shaping, a foot and calf massage, moisturizing, and your choice of nail polish. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Keep Those Toenails Trimmed
Even if you don’t give yourself a complete pedicure, make sure to keep your toenails trimmed the same way you keep your fingernails in check. Leaving them to grow too long can result in ingrown toenails and potential pain.
To cut toenails correctly, use toenail clippers. They are larger than traditional fingernail clippers and can cut through thicker toenails. Be sure to cut straight across using small cuts or, if you care for your feet regularly, keep toenails neat by filing them down instead. Be sure to pull the emery board in one direction only.
Eat for Your Feet
You may not have considered it before; however, whatever you put in your body can have a direct impact on it including your feet.
Specifically, experts warn about inflammation of your feet due to the consumption of too many refined grains, sugars, and trans-fat. This includes eating too many saturated fats found in red meat and omega-6 fats used in vegetable oils. To counter balance the effects, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet along with omega-3 fats found in fatty fish such as salmon.
Give Your Feet a Physical Check-Up
While getting an annual physical exam may seem like the norm, how often do you take the time to check your feet to ensure they’re healthy? Fungal and bacterial conditions are a real threat to their well-being, including problems such as athlete’s foot, blisters, corns, calluses, bunions, bone spurs, hammertoe, and ingrown toenails. To avoid these issues:
- Keep feet clean and dry
- Expose feet to fresh air as often as possible
- Lotion feet after bathing
- Dust feet with fungicide powder, if there is a problem
- Wear the right size shoe
To avoid pain and discomfort, pay attention to your feet and get medical help if you notice any problems.
Make an Appointment with a Podiatrist
Don’t wait until foot problems get out of hand. If you have any concerns about your feet, see a podiatrist to prevent foot issues from becoming chronic.
In particular, people who run frequently, have diabetes, have persistent heel pain, have chronic calluses/corns/bunions, or experience unusual pain in the feet and ankles should make an appointment to see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Beautiful feet don’t just happen. They need pampering. Take care of your feet with these 10 footcare tips and they’ll take care of you.