An average person walks about 75,000 miles by the age they turn 50! That’s a huge number that will certainly take a toll on your feet. So, don’t be surprised if your feet hurt from time to time—that’s perfectly normal. However, if you experience discomfort in feet every day (hello, nurses and patrol officers) know that that’s pretty concerning and you might want to do something about it. So, here’s a little guide that will help you keep your feet healthy.
Walk, walk, walk
It’s very important to keep in mind that your feet have muscles too and those muscles need to be exercised in order to stay in top shape. Luckily, a short daily walk can help strengthen and stretch all the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your feet. This is especially important for people who spend their day sitting or standing in place.
Elevate your feet
Another thing you need to do is keep your feet elevated whenever you find the time. This will take a lot of the pressure off your feet and boost your circulation. When you can’t elevate your feet, make sure to give them a little stretch to get the blood flowing.
Get better shoes
Good shoes with a lot of space for your toes and proper support for your arch and ankle will allow you to get plenty of miles and still feel safe. So, it’s best to opt for shoes that are both practical and comfortable. For instance, many nurses and doctors choose light clogs that are perfect for long standing hours. And, if you want to look stylish as well, you might want to check a website or two and see what kind of colors, materials and styles they offer before buying. This will allow you to match your clothing and shoes and dress coherently. Make sure to always match your shoes to your activity—espadrilles are for light afternoon walks not for your grueling shifts at work.
Provide support for arches
Your arches have to handle most of the pressure when walking. So, without proper support, you’re in risk of all kinds of injuries, overpronation being the most common. So, make sure to pick shoes that will fit and support your arches. If your arch is low, pick shoes with motion control for stability. If they are high, something with extra cushioning will feel good.
Pick the right material
Cotton and leather shoes are the best choice. They provide good air circulation and have good moisture-wicking properties. While you can’t really avoid foot sweating, you can alternate shoes every day to give them time to dry.
Choose the right socks
Socks can be just as important as shoes. They wick moisture away from our feet and add some extra cushioning to your heel and balls of the feet. Some even provide arch compression! If you spend a lot of time standing up, you might want to choose compression socks that will keep your foot, calf and ankle snug.
Wash feet every day
Feet tend to be trapped in shoes all day, so they often develop a harmful buildup of moisture and sweat that bacteria and fungi adore! These unwanted feet residents can cause food odor, infections and other skin issues. However, people still tend to neglect feet hygiene and don’t wash their feet properly. You need to go in between your toes and use quality soap that will remove all the dirt and bacteria. Once you get out of the shower, make sure your feet are dried properly, especially between your toes. Keeping your feet dry will minimize the probability of developing an infection or any other skin condition.
Pamper your feet
Your feet carry you through the world, so they deserve to be pampered every once in a while. Don’t hesitate to splurge some money on an occasional pedicure or foot massage. Additionally, do moisturize your feet. Even though it’s important to keep your feet dry to prevent infections during the periods when you keep your feet in shoes all day long, you also need to provide them with some moisture during the hotter months. If you tend to wear flip-flops and sandals every day when the weather allows, make sure to practice moisturizing to prevent dry, cracked and scaly skin. However, never apply lotion between your toes—this area needs to be dry!
If you tend to have dry feet, try practicing this feet-care routine: wash your feet every evening, dry well and rub some lotion on them (no toes). Your best option is to pick a product with cocoa butter or anything that’s a natural emollient. Finish your feet treatment by putting on a clean pair of socks to keep the moisture on the skin, and in the morning your feet will be well-moisturized and soft!
If you treat your feet well, they will provide your every step with proper support and take you all the places that you want to see. So, keep them clean, protected and snug and you live your best life on your feet.