6 Foot Care Basics For Lasting Fitness
A purposeful, active life starts with your feet. Whether you are bustling with work projects, daily routines, or just having fun, healthy feet are your insurance policy to lasting health, mobility and fitness. Made up of a complex system of bones, tendons and muscles, your feet perform every day with power and grace, but it’s important to give them the attention they need to keep you out of pain and potentially debilitating foot ailments.
Here are eight methods to help keep lasting fitness for your whole body that starts with your feet:
1. Get the best fitting footwear
With 52 of the bones in the human body located in our feet and ankles, proper footwear and fit is paramount. If one area becomes stressed, it can cause a chain reaction of problems leading up the leg and even the spine. General rule for shoe fit , and exercise in particular:
Important qualities to look for in footwear:
Support for the Balls of Your Feet
When you must be on your feet for extended periods of time, the balls of your feet are bound to ache, good support will prevent this problem.
Soft, Deep Heel Cup
All insoles designed to help with plantar fasciitis should have a good, deep heel cup to provide effective shock absorption.
Layers of Cushioning
Good cushioning helps prevent foot fatigue when you must be on your feet for many hours and/or when you must walk or stand on hard surfaces.
2. Clean, dry and inspect daily
A good foot regimen means really getting up close and cleansing the foot with care. Although in the shower they are not easy to reach, detailed cleaning is the best way to ensure foot safety.
And at the same as you dry your feet thoroughly, it’s a good time to inspect for all parts of your feet and ankles for signs of abnormalities and pain spots. Many foot conditions are easily treatable at the start so don’t wait to be in pain later, see a doctor. Remember too to moisturize, but not in between the toes as moisture can promote bacterial growth.
3. Match footwear to activity
This seems obvious but when you are in a rush it’s easy to just take off without the best foot support. The footwear market offers many variations on activity driven designs that are fairly affordable as well. Different terrains and actions put different stresses on the foot. Well designed shoes will make it easy for you to control your motion and speed, especially when exercising. The key factor is cushioning and arch support so you feel stable and comfortable and your feet won’t tire as easily.
4. Wear socks that don’t soak
Feet perspire a lot even when you are not busy, and when you are working out it’s even more wetness hitting your socks. Cotton provides a lot of comforts but it becomes soaked and retains moisture which isn’t good especially if it’s a cold environment. The best type of sock should wick moisture away from your foot and allow air to penetrate. Much better fabric and material alternatives to cotton include Merino wool, which is naturally anti-bacterial, breathable, and warm; polyester that dries quickly and is absorbent.
5. Simple foot exercises
Your body is one unit and despite your best efforts to diet and exercise your feet alone have an extra burden. Therefore, strong feet will allow you to do more. Basic at home foot exercises can help ward off fatigue and injury.
6. Try to reduce inflammation
This natural defense process brings increased blood flow to the area, resulting in an accumulation of fluid. Puffy feet can be a sign of a multitude of issues including simply battling the forces of gravity.
Water retention can be another factor. Check with your doctor if swollen feet persists, however if you start off with healthy feet it’s best to monitor any swelling and take steps to reduce the condition.