By Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped –
The state of your feet can yield unexpected clues to your overall health. Just because your feet are the farthest body parts from your heart does not mean they should be the farthest thing from your mind.
Like the rest of our body, our feet undergo some changes as we get older. They are more prone to chronic problems and pains, and any existing conditions can get worse.
It is important to always keep in mind that your foot health is a key component in having total health. Heart health and foot health are surprisingly intertwined. How so?
Well, let’s start with your heart.
The best way to reduce your risk of heart disease is through a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Exercise not only strengthens the heart muscle, but it also helps keep weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure at healthy levels. Regular cardiovascular activity can also slow the progression of heart disease and reduce arterial inflammation, which increases heart-attack risk. The evidence is indisputable that people with strong cardiovascular function experience overall improved health and longer lifespans.
Foot Health and Your Heart
So, where do your feet come into play? Well, we all know that excercise can be hard work. But, it’s even harder, or sometimes impossible when we have achy joints, a sore back, or pain in our feet. These things may cause us to put off that walk, run, or aerobic exercise…or worse, give it up entirely.
Obviously, pain in your feet is easy to pinpoint. But, what most people don’t know is that the problem with other stiff muscles, aching back, and tender joints may well also start with your feet. When your feet and arches are not properly supported, it can begin to negatively affect the alignment of your knees, hips, and back, causing pain in all of these areas.
So, how do you prevent this? First and foremost, get a full Pedorthic evaluation (Foot Solutions Estero does this at no charge!) They will assess your feet and arches, as well as your balance and gait, to determine the best footwear for your needs.
Make sure you are always wearing comfortable and supportive shoes during every activity that involves weight on your feet.
Also, when you decide to amp up your routine or incorporate new activities, make gradual changes so that your feet and body have time to adjust.
Try to incorporate flexibility as a long-term part of your fitness goals. Those who have stayed flexible as they age tend to incur less injury and do better with any type of exercise routine.
Give Your Feet Some Love!
When was the last time you really took a moment to reflect on how important your feet are to everyday life? Your feet carry you to everywhere you want to be, support your weight when jog and jump, and keep you steady when you need it, don’t your neglected tippy toes deserve a little care this Valentine’s Day? Why not treat your feet to a day at the Spa. Or, go out and purchase yourself a brand new pair of shoes that fit your daily needs while providing your feet the support and comfort they need.
Here are a few more tips for maintaining proper foot health, and making sure your feet feel happy and loved!
- Maintain good foot hygiene, including washing and drying between the toes.
- Buy proper sized shoes. You may not wear the same size in shoes made by different manufacturers. Or, your feet may even be two different sizes. Purchase new shoes late in the day, when feet tend to be at their largest. Foot Solutions Estero can accommodate even the most hard-to-fit feet!
- Hydrate the skin. Florida weather and open shoes can cause rapid loss of moisture from the skin and may result in cracking. Replace the moisture by using foot lotions or creams on a regular basis.
- Inspect your feet regularly and pay attention to changes in color, texture or appearance.
- Do not ignore foot pain. Symptoms that increase or do not resolve within a reasonable period of time need to be evaluated and treated.
- Exercise. Walking is a great way to keep weight under control and is an excellent conditioner for the feet. Be sure to wear appropriate athletic shoes when exercising.
- Avoid walking barefoot to help protect your feet from injury and infection.
- Alternate your shoes each day. Since the feet have sweat glands, your shoes will absorb moisture from your feet, so it is important to allow your shoes to dry out completely.
If pain in your feet is keeping you from exercising or simply moving around as much as you’d like, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Foot Solutions Estero. Your feet will thank you and so will your heart!
At Foot Solutions Estero, our expert staff will pamper your feet with a careful checkup or a full evaluation if it’s been a while since your last visit. Let them find out why your feet are getting between you and all the fun. They will recommend customized solutions to make your feet, your heart, and your whole body a whole lot happier. The importance of high quality, supportive shoes cannot be over emphasized. Call (239) 495-8911 for an appointment today or just stop in. Because when your feet are feeling good, not only will your feet be happy, but your heart and whole body will thank you!
Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped
Chris is a Licensed Board Certified Pedorthist and owner of Foot Solutions Estero, a BOC Accredited Facility. Chris graduated from Clemson University and has taken advanced course study in Mass Position Theory, CAD/CAM Technology for Prescription Foot Orthotics, Pedorthic Care of Diabetic Foot, Heel Pain Syndrome, Obesity among older Americans, Fall Prevention, and Shoe Construction and Modification.
Foot Solutions Estero