Like many things in life, the foot is something often overlooked unless or until there's a problem with it. Fortunately, with a little TLC, you can keep your feet a lot happier and in top form, thereby eliminating many potential problems. Here are seven ways to improve life for what are undoubtedly your two biggest supporters in life.
1. Don't look down on them. Some people have an aversion to feet, while others swear by the fact that there's nothing attractive about them. Don't join this club; take great care to keep your feet presentable, even if they're hardly ever seen. Having reason to hide them is no way to enjoy having them and if you're prone to despising your feet, you're probably not going to take the best care of them.
2. Splurge on professional pampering once in a while. Since they most likely take a constant beating, see a professional once in a while to have your toes and soles spiffed and shined. While it may sound frivolous, it's in your best interest to keep them healthy and a good foot massage does wonders for a stressed out soul, not to mention the tired muscles and tendons you walk on all day long. A pedicure may also help prevent nasty growth, like fungus, which can be dangerous, especially if you have diabetes.
3. Dress them well! Despite being a bargain hungry nation, consumers need to understand the value of a good pair of shoes. Akin to a mattress, where you pay more for something that's going to do your body good for a long time, make sure your shoes, boots and sandals provide plenty of support and are made from quality materials. Fashion is secondary, but need not be sacrificed with a virtually endless selection to choose from. Look for flexible, breathable leather components on the top part of the shoes and shock-absorbing rubber, polyurethane or similar materials inside and for the soles. Good shoes from places like Alegria shoe shop will also keep your feet properly aligned as they support your entire body, which will promote spine health.
4. Stay on your diet. Even the weight of a skinny person bears down on the body below the knees, thus, when you're carrying extra weight, you increase the burden exponentially. If you need to drop a few pounds, commit to the process for better skeletal health, including the 52 or so bones in your feet.
5. Take a load off! There is symbolic gratification in just putting your feet up and relaxing, but this act is also beneficial to your body. Good circulation, for example, is an important part of leg and foot health. Kicking off your shoes and planting them on an ottoman for around 20 minutes is a good way to work toward that end, not to mention helping you to unwind.
6. Have them evaluated annually. A change or problem with a foot may indicate an underlying medical condition, from anemia to a calcium deficiency. Even if you haven't observed anything out of the ordinary, make sure your doctor gives your feet the once-over during your annual physical exam.
7. Let them breathe. Synthetic socks tend to absorb moisture from the skin on your feet, leaving them cracked, dry and even irritated. Add comfort and decrease the drying with a natural composition, such as cotton, or look for socks specifically designed to allow your skin to retain its moisture. Over the course of a year, this will really improve the look and feel of your heels and toes.
The foot is generally underappreciated by many, but to their own peril. Pay a little attention to your two feet and you'll get a lot more miles out of them, not to mention suffering with fewer problems, both big and small.