Your feet have to bear your full weight as you stand for hours and take thousands of steps a day. They work hard so you can go to different places and perform various activities like jumping, skipping, and running. Sometimes, you even cram them into ill-fitting shoes to look fashionable. But while your feet serve you well, what do you do to take care of them besides washing them and clipping your toe nails?
If you have been neglecting your feet, now is the best time to start giving them much-needed TLC. Do not wait until you experience foot pain and other issues because these can certainly affect your quality of life. Remember that you need healthy feet to remain active and mobile. Protect and care for your diligent feet by observing the following tips:
Wear Antimicrobial Home Socks
Keep your feet toasty warm, especially during the cold months, by wearing socks at home. Doing so also prevents your feet from getting dirty and becoming rough and blistered, which are pretty common issues when you walk around barefoot in the house. Putting socks will likewise keep you dry and comfortable if your feet are prone to excessive sweating.
When looking for the ideal socks, consider buying antimicrobial home socks instead of regular ones. Such pairs are made with fabrics that are imbued with antimicrobial properties, usually through the use of silver nanoparticles, which inhibit the growth of unwanted microorganisms and bacterial odors. As such, you can be sure that your feet will remain comfy and odor-free as you go about your daily routine. Opt for antimicrobial socks when going out as well to experience the same benefits.
Choose the Right Footwear
Wearing the right shoes is essential to keeping feet healthy and pain-free. It is also vital to keeping you safe from injuries. This is why a significant part of foot care is paying attention to the kind and size of shoes you put on. Instead of choosing footwear based solely on style and brand, look for comfortable shoes that provide ample cushioning to your feet. The right footwear should also offer plenty of room for your toes. Here are additional pointers to help you find the ideal shoes:
- Shop for shoes in the afternoon when your feet are typically most swollen. This should help you pick a more appropriate size.
- Opt for shoes that fit well and are comfy from the start.
- If your feet are not the same size, shop for shoes that fit the larger foot.
- Rely on your comfort level rather than the shoe size or description.
- Choose a pair that fits your feet in length and width.
Treat Your Feet to a Relaxing Soak
Apart from keeping your feet clean, you may want to give them a good soak on a regular basis to reduce the risk of foot conditions caused by harmful bacteria and fungi like athlete’s foot. It is also an inexpensive and convenient way to soothe your tired aching feet, soften up calloused skin, and promote relaxation.
All you need is a basin large enough to submerge both your feet in, plus some warm water and clean towels. Soak your feet in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. After the footbath, make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes. Take note that bacteria and fungi tend to thrive in a moist environment.
Be Wary of Public Areas
Don’t forget to protect your feet when using public recreational facilities, such as swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms. Always wear shoes or flip flops when going around such warm and damp places to prevent exposing your feet to fungi that grow in such environments. It is worth noting that you increase your risk of developing athlete’s foot, ringworm, or other fungal infections if you go to these public places barefoot.
Avoid Sharing Shoes
Besides walking barefoot in damp public areas, you can also get fungal infections by sharing shoes with other people. You should avoid sharing footwear with other people so that you won’t get exposed to the fungal and bacterial flora that likely thrive in these objects. These include rental footwear that you typically find in spas or bowling alleys. Just imagine putting on rented shoes that have been worn by numerous strangers!
It is not only your face and body that needs moisturizing; your feet need it as well. In fact, your feet probably need it more because while your soles lack oil glands, they bear the weight of your entire body as you stand, walk, and move all day. As such, it is not surprising that dry feet and cracked soles are more common than dry skin in other parts of your body.
Smoothen and hydrate your feet with a moisture-rich lotion or petroleum jelly after taking a bath and before going to bed.
Keep a Healthy Weight
Be kind to your feet by watching your weight. Keep in mind that your feet essentially carry you. The more you weigh, the harder it will be for your feet. One survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) showed that 71 percent of obese people suffer from different foot conditions, from heel pain and plantar fasciitis to tendinitis and stress fractures. Ultimately, staying fit is best for your feet and overall health.
As you can probably discern from the tips above, caring for your feet is not that hard. You only need to pay attention to them more than usual, and you will be rewarded with a healthy pair of trotters. Isn’t that enough reason for you to start taking good care of them?