Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Non-Foot Concerns

We hope our blogs have you thinking about your feet and your foot care! But did you know that there are factors outside of your feet and ankles which affect the health of your feet (and your over-all health as well)? Try considering this information about foot care:

-Crossing your legs can lead to complications in your foot care. Prolonged and repeated cross-leg sitting can diminish the circulation to your feet and ankles, especially over time. Try to find other comfortable ways to sit, like feet crossed at the ankles. Any prolonged circulation restriction can lead, over time, to circulation complications of the feet. Make sure your socks or hose aren't too tight, and avoid other circulation constriction.

-Your weight affects your feet. Controlling your weight is one of the best things you can do for your over-all health. Not only does it have implications in heat and circulatory function, but your weight affects your feet. Added weight can change the way to stand and distribute your weight. It can cause biomechanical changes in your feet, which may lead to foot pain. Your feet are responsible for carrying you through life, and they will be more effective when the extra strain of extra weight is off of them.

-Your exercise habits affect your feet. This makes sense when related to weight: exercise is good for keeping your weight down, and therefore for your feet. But your feet need exercise as well. Exercise helps strengthen the bones, muscles, and ligaments in your feet. but improper exercise can harm your feet. Always warm up appropriately. And some activities have higher risks of injury (say ice skating and a high number of ankle sprains). This is to be expected, just think about your feet before exercising. Make sure your foot gear fits properly (lace up skates and shoes) and consider the gear you have available before playing (for example,many volleyball players wear ankle braces). A little preparation can help save a lot of pain. Walking is the best exercise for your feet. It strengthens and stretches them, and because it is low impact there is less risk of injury. Always wear the appropriate shoes for any activity.

-The weather can affect your feet. Think about the weather before selecting foot gear. Sunny days may inspire you to wear flip flops, but consider protection and support before selecting your foot gear. And rain, sleet, and ice can cause many surfaces to be slippery. Please wear the correct shoes for the weather. Keeping your feet dry in wet weather is important as well, especially over prolonged periods of time. Plan accordingly for camping/hiking trips, and even long days with lots of walking. Wet feet can lead to fungi and blisters.

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