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If your nails have a tendency to peel or break, a few changes in diet and nail care can help them grow strong and healthy. If you frequently immerse your nails in water or bite them, they can weaken and split easily. Implementing a consistent nail-care regimen can help strengthen your fingernails as they grow. Occasional professional manicures supplemented by home upkeep can help you achieve healthy nails.

Step 1

Trim your nails regularly with clean, sharp nail clippers. Dull clippers can cause your nails to tear. Trim your nails straight across, then buff away any rough edges with a micro-smooth emery board. File your nails in one direction rather than running the file back and forth.

Step 2

Take a daily multivitamin high in calcium and vitamin B. If you want to take a special nail-strengthening supplement, look for one containing biotin. If you take nutritional supplements, try adding 2.5 mg of biotin a day to fight weak and splitting nails. If you prefer to get biotin from food, try egg yolks, yeast and wheat bran.

Step 3

Soak your nails weekly in a dish of warm vegetable oil, such as olive or safflower oil. For extra nourishment, add a few drops of vitamin E oil. If you prefer not to soak, give yourself a hand massage with vitamin E lotion. Rub from the palm of your hand to your fingertips to promote circulation to the nails.

Step 4

Wear rubber gloves when cleaning. Hot water, cleansers and abrasives can weaken your nails, keeping them from growing long even if you’re taking supplements and getting regular manicures.

Step 5

Get regular professional manicures to have your nails trimmed and shaped correctly. Your manicurist can apply a strengthening treatment to help reinforce brittle nails. Avoid artificial nails, as the glue can weaken your real ones.

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Routine Foot Care: Footwear Fundamentals

Proper footwear is essential for farmers – in fact, your shoes are one of the most fundamental bits of gear that you’ll buy for this job. As such, it’s important to think carefully about which footwear you choose. These are, after all,  the boots that you spend most of your waking hours wearing.

Not all work boots are created equal, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options out there these days. So what are the most important factors to consider when choosing a work boot?

  • You’ll be standing, crouching, and walking in these boots for hours at a time, so they need to feel comfortable and provide both arch and ankle support. You can also add sole inserts for extra support if you need to.
  • To prevent injury, you need boots with plenty of traction so that you won’t fall down in wet conditions. You might also want to buy boots with toe protection, such as a steel toe, depending on the type of farming you’re doing; but keep in mind that steel-toed boots are rigid and not as comfortable.
  • Leather is a go-to material for work boots – it’s natural, reliable, durable, and breathable. It also molds to your foot with wear, which leads to a customized fit over time. If you decide to go synthetic, make sure the material is breathable and durable.
  • Farming in wet conditions is unavoidable at times, so waterproofing is a must. Keeping your feet dry isn’t just a matter of comfort, either. Moisture leads to blisters, fungus and other issues.
  • Not all waterproof linings are created equal. Look for boots that have a breathable lining material, such as Gore-tex, Dry-lex or Keen Dry, so your feet stay dry and comfy. Some materials are also antimicrobial, which helps prevent odor.
  • A great pair of work boots will likely come with a pretty price tag. But the better quality boots you invest in, the longer they’ll last.
  • A second pair. You should, ideally, have a second pair of work boots so that you’re not wearing the exact same pair every day.
  • Don’t forget the socks. It’s not all about your boots, believe it or not! You should also wear high-quality socks. Go for thick, soft performance socks made from natural fibers, such as merino wool, which will help keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.
Maintaining Your Boots

Buying a great pair of boots is step one. Maintaining your boots is step two. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to protect your boots from damage and keep them in tip-top shape.

First, make sure to clean your boots regularly. Yes, they will get ridiculously muddy and dirty, but dirt and mud can damage leather over time, so give them a good cleaning when possible.

Also, dry your boots out properly when they get wet. Stuff them with newspaper or another absorbent material, or invest in a boot dryer.

And lastly, don’t forget to condition your boots occasionally, particularly if they’re made of leather.

Up Next:

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