Foot Health

One of the most overlooked areas of the body in terms of healthcare might just be the feet, and they take quite a pounding on a daily basis. Combined, both feet consist of more than 50 bones, approximately ¼ of the bone count in the body, more than 60 joints, and around 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments (Metcalf, 2009). Not only can the sheer impact of force affect foot health, but also think of all the activities and ill-fitting shoes that can make those tootsies cry. On top of all of the daily pounding, chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can affect foot health, requiring regular checkups and self-care. Here are some general tips to help keep feet healthy and happy (Chesak, 2018).

  1. Avoid tight fitting shoes.
  2. Avoid sharing shoes and foot care utensils.
  3. Let discolored nails breathe; do not cover them with nail polish.
  4. Seek the help of a podiatrist for removing ingrown toenails.
  5. Try a self-foot massage or rolling a tennis ball under the feet.

Summertime presents its own wealth of possibilities that may have an impact on feet. Here are some summer-specific considerations (American Podiatric Medical Association, n.d.).

  1. Apply sunscreen to the feet and ankles and reapply after being in the water per package instructions.
  2. Limit walking barefoot to avoid exposure to the sun, warts, infections, and potential injuries.
  3. Always wear sandals or shoes around pools and public showers.
  4. Stay hydrated to prevent heat-related swelling of the feet.
  5. Keep the blood flowing to the feet by flexing the ankles, doing calf stretches, or wiggling the toes.
  6. Be sure shoes are completely dry before wearing them to avoid growth of bacteria or fungus.

Feet are important; always be kind to them. The American Podiatric Medical Association website is a great resource for tips on finding the right type and fit of shoes, including children’s shoes, sandals, and athletic footwear. Specialized shoe stores can also help find the right type of walking/running shoes based on arch and gait. Please consult a podiatrist with any specific questions.


The UFit Team