Keeping your Feet Fit
Looking after your feet is an essential aspect of personal care, but we don’t often think about it until we’re experiencing pain. Over the course of your lifetime, your feet could walk the distance of four times around the world. To make sure they are healthy, you need to keep them supported, clean and warm.
Symptoms of Foot Problems
Our feet are constantly subject to stress and strain, so it’s essential that we do what we can to look after them. Wearing shoes which don’t fit properly, walking on hard surfaces or not exercising correctly can all take a toll.
Ensure that you don’t ignore minor foot problems such as aches and pains. They may not seem like a hassle to start with but leaving them can make the problem a lot worse in the long run.
The main symptoms include soreness, pain and general redness. For example, if you develop something harmless like a corn, it can develop and become much more painful. You may then change your walking pattern or reduce your exercising which will result in even more health issues. Always seek advice about foot problems quickly to save you discomfort in the future.
1. Buying New Shoes
It is very important when buying new shoes to make sure that they fit your feet properly. This is something that will help your feet on an everyday basis. This can also help to ensure stability to prevent you having any falls or accidents. When buying new footwear, consider the following:
- Shoes must fit properly and allow your feet to breathe.
- There should always be a half inch gap between the ends of your toes and the ends of your shoes.
- Look for footwear that is made from soft leather or fabric if you have problems with bunions or corns as your feet need space to stretch.
- Choose slippers with firm soles and high backs.
At Churchill, we recommend Cosyfeet shoes. Read our previous article with reasons why you should buy Cosyfeet shoes.
2. General Foot Care
Keeping your feet clean and cared for is very important to prevent any problems and infections. Make sure you wash your feet every day with clean warm water. Rinse them well and dry gently with a soft towel. If you have hard or dead skin on your feet, try using a chiropody sponge or pumice stone; ask your pharmacist or GP for advice on this if it is painful.
Trim your toe nails regularly. Always cut them straight across so that they are in line with the ends of your toes and not too short. Do not try to cut around the corners as this could cause ingrown toenails. Soften nail edges with an emery board so that stockings won't snag.
If your skin is very dry, try applying a foot moisturising cream. Massage the cream in an upwards motion to stimulate your circulation. Avoid applying cream between your toes.
3. Exercise your Feet
Exercise really helps to keep your feet healthy, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing it right. There are a few specific exercises which can help to strengthen your arches and stimulate blood circulation. Try doing the following exercise regularly. If you are experiencing any discomfort while doing them, speak to your doctor before continuing.
- Rise to your tiptoes – stand with feet parallel and, while holding on to something steady, rise slowly up and down on your toes. This will help to strengthen leg and feet muscles.
- Point your toes – While sitting down, extend and stretch the foot in a straight line with your leg. Repeat with your other leg.
- Rotate your feet – while sitting, extend your feet one at a time and rotate slowly at the ankle. This will help to stretch and remove tension in your lower leg.
It’s essential to look after your feet, so make sure you get them checked on an annual basis, even if you are not experiencing any specific problems. Having healthy feet can make your everyday life a lot happier so don’t suffer in silence and make sure you get help if needed.