When you have good foot care habits, it can prevent problems from occurring and simultaneously bad foot care habits may cause foot problems to arise.
Here are my top foot care habits to keep your feet in tip top shape and performing at their peak:
1. Wash your feet everyday and dry properly between your toes.
Sounds pretty obvious right?
Majority of people get the daily washing part right, but not the drying between your toes part right…
For those taking the drip dry approach…this leaves moisture between the toes leaving you susceptible to fungal infections.
2. Check your feet for cracks, cuts, sores, blisters, abnormal lesions, swelling, redness, bleeding and abrasions.
You can do this straight after washing and drying your feet and it takes about 30 seconds to do.
Struggle to see underneath your feet? Using a mirror can help you to see all areas underneath your feet if you’re not the most flexible person.
If you find anything out of the norm, be sure to visit your podiatrist.
3. Apply a foot cream DAILY (take note here – daily, daily, daily).
Applying cream once or twice a week is not going to cut it, especially if you suffer with dry skin.
Daily action is going to keep your skin soft and supple. It takes a bit of discipline to turn this into a daily routine and well worth the effort to prevent painful bleeding cracks.
Creams to help you get started – Flexitol, Diprobase, Double Base, E-45.
Please note, not to apply cream in between the toes, the constant moisture can lead to unwanted infections.
4. Cut your toenails correctly.
Toenails should always be trimmed straight across and never down the sides.
If you have sharp edges on the sides, use a nail file/emery board to slightly round them and smooth them out.
Cutting them too short (past the white line) or down the sides is the fastest way to give yourself an ingrown toenail and land a visit to your podiatrist.
5. Avoid self-treating.
If you have any corns, callouses, ingrowing toenails or anything abnormal looking, visit a podiatrist rather than attempting to treat it yourself.
In all my years of practice, the DIY attempts always end in disaster with unnecessary pain which could have been avoided.
6. Wear comfortable supportive footwear.
This is a MASSIVE topic which I’ll go into more depth in another blog post.
Top points to consider…
- Make sure your shoes fit correctly and they are not TOO small or TOO big.
- Shoes that cause pain and blistering is NOT a good shoe (if a shoe is too tight, it’s too tight! Breaking them in is not the answer and causes more problems.)
- Make sure there is a thumb’s width gap between the end of your longest toe (1st or 2nd toe) and the end of the shoe to prevent your toes crushing into the top of your shoes.
- Shoe depth is also important and your toes should be able to wiggle and move freely rather than being jammed into the toebox (front part of shoe). Squashed toes cause corn and callous formation.
- Shoes with straps and laces provide support and soft flimsy shoes with no laces or straps are unsupportive which could lead to foot problems and pain.
- Shop for footwear at the end of the day when your feet are more swollen, that extra tissue expansion allows you to buy shoes that will accommodate that little bit of extra swelling without causing unnecessary tightness.
7. Change your socks daily.
There are 250 000 sweat glands in a pair of feet and can release up to half a pint of moisture daily – NUFF SAID!
8. Don’t ignore pain.
Pain experienced in the feet is not normal, our bodies are extraordinarily designed and when something goes wrong it has a way of letting you know.
Listen to your body and consult your podiatrist if you experience any kind of foot pain.
9. Keep your body moving.
Your body is an AMAZING MACHINE that is designed to move.
Keep your circulation flowing by walking, stretching and exercising daily.
Daily movement and stretching of tight muscles aids in preventing stiffness in the joints, and regular exercise maintains a healthy circulatory system leading to a longer, happy, hearty life.
10. Work on your mindset.
Building new habits takes a little bit of discipline, repetition, and self-control.
If your head is not 100% in the game and you haven’t sold yourself on the importance of good foot health, it’s not going to happen…
Make time daily to take care of your feet, the average person walks 184 000 kilometres over a lifetime, the equivalent distance of walking 4 times around the world!
Show them some love and respect, create healthy foot care habits and walk through life confidently.
“When our feet hurt, we hurt all over.” – Socrates
Which of these foot care habits do you need to work on to have your feet performing at their peak?
Leave your comment below.