If you think about it, our feet are one of the most essential parts of our bodies. We stand, walk, run, and balance, all with the aid of our feet. Therefore, it stands to reason that the rest of our body will likely suffer without good foot health.
April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, and it’s a perfect time to think about your feet! Americans take 5,000 – 7,000 steps daily; approximately 20 percent of us experience foot pain. Of course, the best medicine is prevention! Here are three essential things you can do to maintain happy, healthy feet.
Wear the Right Shoes at the Right Times
When it comes to your feet, you should never suffer for fashion. Wearing shoes that are uncomfortable or don’t fit correctly can do lasting damage to your feet. This goes for high-heeled stilettos as much as it does for flats and sneakers. Moreover, wearing the right shoes for the suitable activity is essential. For example, this is more than not wearing casual shoes while running long distances. Different shoes have other features that can provide comfort but can also aggravate if worn for the wrong activity. It’s almost always best to consult a professional to choose models that fit and provide the comfort, support, and flexibility your feet need.
Stretch and Exercise Your Feet
Stretching your foot out is a good idea before any workouts, runs, or other foot-intensive activities, just like any other body part. Because your foot is the literal foundation of your body, keeping it strong and flexible will go a long way to ensure your exercise of choice is productive. Try incorporating a few foot stretches into your routine, including toe pointing, splaying, and curling.
Avoid Walking Barefoot
Some of us prefer to walk without anything on our feet. That’s understandable when we’re at the park, beach, or even in the comfort of our own home. However, there are two reasons to avoid walking barefoot as often as possible. First, walking barefoot often doesn’t provide the foot with enough support, so the more time you spend barefoot, the harder your foot has to work to maintain stability. And the more complicated it works, the faster it can tire out, causing you to weaken muscles and tendons. Second, there are tons of microbes, even in our homes! Bare feet are like magnets for these microbes; some can be dangerous. It’s best to avoid walking barefoot as much as possible, so break out those flip-flops, water socks, and slippers!
Please schedule an appointment with one of our medical professionals who can help ensure you’re doing everything possible to ensure good foot health.