With 26 bones and a vast array of muscles, tendons and ligaments, your feet are just too important to be overlooked. You probably don’t even give them a second thought until they start to hurt and let you know that you have overused and abused them.
Your feet are responsible for keeping you upright and balanced, and absorb the full brunt of your body when you move. It’s important to start good foot care as early as possible to avoid problems in the future.
Feet can be plagued with a variety of common issues. Foot odor, cracked skin, fallen arches, corns, ingrown toenails, fungal infections and even damaged bones can cause discomfort and reduced mobility. While some of these problems are congenital, many can be easily dealt with or even avoided.
Unfortunately, many of the problems tend to worsen with age. Giving your feet a little daily TLC may save you pain and even visits to the doctor. Considering the role your feet play in your daily life, don’t they deserve a few minutes of care each day?
The first rule is to buy shoes that fit well. Too many times we sacrifice comfort for style. If you experience tightness, swelling, blisters and calluses, sore heels and excessive shoe wear, you are wearing the wrong shoes. You should always buy new shoes at the end of the day. Your feet are a bit larger by then.
Look for the right materials. Synthetics tend not to breathe well, trapping heat and moisture. Natural materials like leather and cotton will keep your feet cooler and release moisture; athletic shoes with special materials or mesh work even better. You can't really avoid foot sweat. You can try to alternate your shoes, so that the pair you wore yesterday has a chance to dry out completely before you wear them again.
The muscles in your feet are just like any other muscles -- they need exercise to stay strong, so try taking a leisurely stroll. You may need a good pair of arch supports.
It’s important to actually wash your feet in the shower and moisturize them after as well. Good socks made of natural fibers can help to keep feet dry and healthy. And finally – most people think there is nothing better than a foot massage!