HOW MANY STEPS did you get in last month? Did you know that the average person walks between 5,000 to 7,000 steps per day? Rain, snow or shine, people walk, job, race along without thinking about how it affects their feet.
They bear our weight every day and even endure more stress when we run, jog or jump. We shove them into shoes that may be too tight or too worn out, with heels that are too high.
Feet are marvelous miracles of engineering. They have 33 joints, 19 muscles, 107 ligaments and 26 bones – fully one-quarter of the total bones in the body.
Good foot care is essential to keeping our feet healthy and active. To celebrate April as Foot Health Awareness Month, and to keep your feet in good running condition, here are some tips to keep those feet healthy:
- Keep them clean. Wash feet in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Keep them moisturized. Apply a rich foot cream or lotion to keep skin smooth and supple. Avoid the areas between the toes.
- Keep them dry to help avoid fungal infections. Always put on clean socks and change them during the day if they become damp. Alternate your shoes to air them out. Choose breathable materials like leather and canvas.
- Check daily. Inspect your feet. Look for any changes like a blister, bruise, cut, nail problem, crack or sore. Be alert to red, sensitive pressure points that may indicate poorly-fitting shoes. Those with diabetes must be extra-cautious in their daily foot examination.
- Trim your nails carefully. Always use a toenail clipper and cut straight across – don’t round the corners – to avoid an ingrown toenail.
- Smooth calluses and corns. Use a pumice stone to smooth out these areas. If you have diabetes, please come see us for this type of foot care.
- Assess your footwear. Are your shoes or boots tight? Is there ample room in the toe box so that you can wiggle your toes? Is the tread on the bottom wearing evenly? This could cause balance issues. If you see any problems, it’s time to go shoe shopping.
- Just like your muscles need a rest day in your workout routine, so do your feet. If you’ve been walking, running or even just standing more, your feet can get sore. Make sure you take the time to put your feet up and relax when you need to. You can simply prop your feet up on a cushion, or you can go a little more lux and pamper yourself with a foot soak.