One secret for a longer, happier life is healthy feet. Well, it’s no secret, many people are unaware of how important our feet are! But many people don’t believe this is true because it sounds too simple. Our Feet are our foundation, we walk, we stand, we move because of our feet. Taking proper care of our feet is critical and can prevent health problems down the road.
Your feet are meant to be used, because of this, they will require regular maintenance and upkeep. “The average moderately active person takes around 7,500 steps/day. If you maintain that daily average and live until 80 years of age, you’ll have walked about 216,262,500 steps in your lifetime.”
Foot Care Best Practices
1. Keep Your Feet Clean
Wash your feet every day, whether they seem to need it or not. The cleaner your feet are the less likely you are to get an infection if you do have a small cut. Wash carefully between the toes because that is where the athlete’s foot usually starts.
After washing, dry your feet thoroughly. Dry between all of your toes to help prevent the athlete’s foot. If your skin is thin and fragile, use a soft towel to gently pat your feet dry, rather than rubbing them.
2. Protect Your Feet From Injury
Wear shoes that fit you well, protect your whole foot, and are made of materials that ventilate well. Don’t buy shoes in the wrong size, thinking you’ll break them in. And it’s best not to wear open-toed shoes or shoes made of manmade materials that trap the moisture inside the shoe. Check the inside of your shoes with your hands before putting them on. Small things can sometimes fall into your shoes. If your feet are numb, you may not feel them. For example, I know people with numb feet who have walked all day with pins, Lego blocks, or cat toys in their shoes without knowing it. All three of these people had wounds on their feet at the end of the day that could have been avoided if they had routinely checked the inside of their shoes before putting them on.
3. If Your Skin is Dry, Use a Lotion or Cream for Moisturizing
Dry skin on the feet is not only uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous. Very dry skin can crack and the crack can be an opening for infection. Dry skin on the feet is not only uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous. Very dry skin can crack and the crack can be an opening for infection. One particular caution about using creams and lotions on your feet: Be careful to keep the area between your toes free of lotions and creams. Keep that area dry. Remember, this is where an athlete’s foot often begins. Spread the cream or lotion on the top and bottom of your foot, but avoid the area between your toes.
4. Exercise Your Feet
Walking is an exercise for your feet, but there are other exercises you can do to increase circulation, prevent cramps and keep your muscles in good shape:
- While sitting, pick up marbles with your toes.
- While holding onto a table or chair back, get up on your tiptoes, then rock back to your heels, 20 times.
- While sitting, alternate pointing your toes toward your nose with pointing your toes downward; rotate your ankles in circles, first in one direction, then the other