You’re likely to walk more than 100,000 miles over the course of your lifetime. That’s the same as circling the earth 4 times at the equator. But as important as your feet are, many of us neglect them... until they start to hurt!
The good news is that you can follow these 7 steps to avoid getting foot pain.
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Your feet bear the weight of your entire body, and the more weight they support, the harder they have to work.
“The best way to prevent foot pain is to keep your weight down,” says Paul Talusan, MD, clinical assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Michigan.
So if foot pain is keeping you from exercising as part of your weight-loss efforts, try a low-impact sport like swimming.
Heels might upgrade your outfit, but they can cause a lot of damage to your feet. One study found that it takes just 1 hour and 6 minutes of wearing them for the pain to kick in.
“Squeezing your feet into pointy-toed heels can lead to a laundry list of ailments, from ingrown toenails, bunions, and blisters, to shortened calf muscles, back pain, and deformed toes,” says Talusan.
Your calf muscles may tighten as you get older, this means that there is more stress on the balls of your feet.
“Stretching your calves on a regular basis can go a long way toward preventing foot pain,” Talusan says.
Do the following stretch at least three times a day:
When was the last time you measured your feet? If it was more than 2 years ago, there’s a good chance you’re wearing the wrong size shoe.
It is very important to know that feet change shape as you age, and tight-fitting footwear can lead to heel pain, deformed toes, bunions, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, and other painful problems.
Remember these tips:
Sitting all day is bad for your health, but standing all day isn’t good either.
“Ideally, some combination of sitting and standing is best,” Talusan says.
If your job requires you to be on your feet most of the day, do your feet a favor and take the load off during breaks. Resist the urge to run errands during lunch, and aim for a seated meal instead.
A major source of foot pain is from ingrown toenails, which happen when the edge of your nail grows into the skin around the toe. The best way to prevent this is to cut your toenails straight across with clean, sharp nail scissors. Don’t round the corners to match the shape of your toe.
A foot cramp can come on suddenly and be very painful. Several things can cause cramps, including dehydration or a dietary imbalance.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially during exercise.
Cramping can also be caused by a lack of potassium, so eat foods like bananas or spinach.
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