Almost all of us take our feet for granted there they are, at the far end of your body, hidden away in shoes, trainers and socks carrying the entire weight of our bodies. Even worse, sometimes they’re forced to do this in ill-fitting shoes or high heels.
The average person walks around 100,000 miles during a lifetime, and of course if you run or walk as a hobby, that distance goes up. A car gets a service every 30,000 miles, so why are we so happy to neglect our feet? Feet are the parts of the body most likely to be injured, so by adopting some self-care tips you can keep them healthy and ready for action.
Don’t forget to wash your feet
And between your toes! Use a flannel or a soft brush to clean them, focusing on your toes, before letting your feet dry completely. If you find bending down difficult, then a long-handled brush is ideal. This care and attention helps to lessen the risk of problems like athlete’s foot, foot odour and other fungal and bacterial infections.
Soft soap your feet
Some of us love a good foot soak, but if you like to use bath salts, give them a swerve. Salts tend to dry out the skin, potentially causing tiny lesions that, given the right conditions, let in bacteria and the dreaded fungus. Use a mild bath foam and make sure the water is no hotter than your usual bath.
Once your feet are dry, use a good moisturiser on them. You can buy specialist foot creams or just use a regular body lotion, depending on your tastes. This helps to prevent painful cracks in your heels.
Change your shoes daily
If you have a particular favourite shoe, buy another pair so you can alternate them. This gives the unworn pair a chance to air, preventing the build-up of bugs. Don’t forget to change your socks or tights daily as well.
If your feet are painful, seek advice
Wearing badly-fitting shoes, or shoes that don’t support your feet and ankles, can lead to serious problems. If you’re worried you may have damaged your feet, an assessment and a course of foot physiotherapy from Northwich Foot Clinic might set you back on the right track.
Ditch the flip-flops
Shoes, sandals or flip-flops with completely flat bases are a no-no! These types of footwear don’t support the arch of the foot and can lead to tendon, ankle and bunion problems in later life. Make sure you hardly ever wear shoes like this many styles of sandal have arch support, so you needn’t sacrifice style.
Your feet are vulnerable
Pregnancy can place a lot of stress on the feet the extra weight combined with the softening of ligaments can actually make your feet a size bigger, often permanently. Additionally, as people get older they lose some of the fat pads under their heels, which makes well-cushioned shoes an essential. Diabetes can also lead to circulation problems, so if you’re diabetic, a yearly check-up with a podiatrist is doubly important to keep you on your toes.