October 29, 2009
Curiosity regarding the various shoes people wear and how to best care for feet has inspired me to share techniques and tips to help people have happy healthy feet. During the summer it is easy to notice that many people are not taking proper care of their feet and are suffering from excessive foot fatigue and even foot failure.
This is the result of deliberate abuse (wearing fashionable shoes that torment the foot in spite of the pain and warnings) and unknowing neglect (not properly caring for the bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and skin of the feet). Additionally many people are quite unaware and uneducated when it comes to understanding the role the overall health of the body plays in maintaining the health of your feet.
Many people seem to be unaware of the direct consequences of their decisions regarding bare foot basics and common shoe sense. Every decision you make regarding foot care, proper maintenance, problem prevention and biomechanical basics and yes even footwear fashion have a direct impact on whether you enjoy happy feet or suffer with unhappy feet. Once you experience unhappy feet it is likely that unhappy feelings will follow.
Caring for a Lifetime of Footsteps
Your foot is a miraculous creation and it specially designed to carry you easily throughout your life. When you take a moment to think of your fantastic feet carrying you for tens of thousands of miles and for possibly 100 plus years you realize how amazing they are. You will wear out many hundreds of pairs of shoes and yet your feet will still allow your body to walk and run in addition to whatever loads you carry. That is if you do your part to give then the basic attention and care they deserve.
Do you ever stop to think about your feet and what you can do to consciously give them the tender loving care (TLC) they deserve? It seems that most people do not. It is amazing how many become bothered over the color and condition of their toenail polish or the color of their socks and yet not focus on how to pamper and protect the most important form of transportation in the world.
Think about that for a minute. Many people spend a fortune on bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trucks and other forms of travel and barely give their feet and footwear the proper attention and awareness that they deserve. Yet it is our feet and footwear that are responsible for safely transporting us to and from all these other forms of transportation to where we ultimately will go.
Preventing Foot Ailments
Due to a wide variety of foot ailments such as: athlete’s foot, bunions, corns, diabetes, fallen arches, foot fungus, hammer toes, heel spurs, injuries, sprains, twists and many more, people experience excessive foot pain and problems. Many of these issues are preventable with a little TLC and common sense.
While it would be beneficial and helpful to write a book about great foot care and foot wear the following Ten Tips will help get you started. Investing the energy and time for proper foot care and making better choices in footwear is one of the best returns on investment you can make in your overall health and well being. With happy healthy feet we greatly improve the odds of living a long happy and healthy life since they are ultimately responsible for our daily choices as well as transporting us on our journey of life.
It is essential to properly care, exercise, maintain, protect and support your feet each day to insure they will last as long as you do. Just like any area of your overall health and well being, every choice you make regarding the beverages, foods, substances and thoughts you put in or on your body will impact your long term wellness.
An expert in reflexology quoted a wise saying from a long line of Japanese reflexology practitioners as a great reminder to care for your most precious foundation.
Over a thousand ailments and disease begin with the health of the foot”.
Therefore choose wisely before you buy or wear those high heels or improperly fitting shoes. Eating more refined sugar could easily cause excess weight gain which puts more stress on the feet and contributes to health cahllenges and may even lead to diabetes which could lead to amputation. Each of these unhealthy habits affects your feet which will ultimately affect your happiness and health.
[colored_box title=”Ten Great Tips for Happy Healthy Feet” variation=”teal”]A great time to massage your feet is after waking, walking or washing.
- Walk barefoot at least 30 – 60 minutes every day. Or wear flat moccasin type footwear to allow the foot to properly flex.
- Buy shoes that are the proper length and width for your feet. Make sure the toes have proper room to move.
- Choose quality shoes that are comfortable and provide good overall protection and support.
- Wear shoes that keep the foot level with the ground (avoid heels over 1 “). High heels, elevated platforms, slick /slippery soles and cheap flip flops are examples of accidents and injuries waiting for a place to happen.
- Do foot exercises regularly to maintain flexibility and strengthen foot ligaments, muscles and tendons.
- Apply a quality oil (almond, sesame, olive, coconut, flax) weekly.
- Walking barefoot on sand will help keep your ligaments, muscles and tendons flexible and strong. It can also help remove excess callous from the soles of your feet.
- Be sure to wear good walking, cross training or running shoes during exercise.
- Use orthopedic inserts and insoles as needed to protect and strengthen your foot structure.
- Focus on your foot stride, foot alignment and overall posture while walking to keep both feet parallel to your direction of travel and each other. Avoid walking or standing with your toes pointing out to the sides like a duck because this puts excess pressure on your knees, hips and back.[/colored_box]
Feet are the foundation for our body and health. They are also the most precious form of mobility and transportation. With a minimal investment of money and time (less than required for any car) you can take great care of your feet for a lifetime. Whether you have great feet today or not, your feet deserve a little TLC and you will benefit for a lifetime with happy healthy feet. Remember when you take care of your feet they will take care of you.
Our next blog post will share: Swine Flu Fears – Fact or Fiction