Our feet deserve more attention than you might expect. A healthy foot goes hand in hand (or foot in foot?) with the health of our whole body. So, what should a healthy foot look like, what do you need to do to keep your feet healthy, and what should a healthy foot definitely not look like? Let’s explore this in more detail.
How to recognise a healthy foot
The foot is a relatively complex mechanism made up of bones, tendons and muscles. Of course, the feet working correctly depends on a number of factors, from one’s genetics and lifestyle to the correct movement stereotype of the body as a whole.
How can you recognise a healthy foot? From how it looks. The crucial things are the correct rotation and position in the hip, knee and ankle joints. The toes are straight; the entire surface of the pads of the toes rests on the ground. Both arches (transverse and flat) are in the right position and are not overly strained. This can be seen in the imprint of the sole during a podoscopic examination. You can try a small test with the imprint of your sole by yourself at home.
Healthy feet have a natural colour, and are not red or swollen. They should have no pressure sores or calluses. Healthy feet do not have skin problems or fungal diseases, for example around the nails.
You can then gauge the health of your feet by how they feel. Healthy feet should not hurt when you are moving or resting, if we don’t count how they feel after exertion, such as hard exercise or a long walk. You shouldn’t suffer from cramps in your calves or your toes. Likewise, your legs should not have varicose veins. You should also not have the sensation of cold feet, which is the result of poor circulation.
What is needed for healthy feet
If we don’t take care of our feet, or our body as a whole, it won’t be long before we feel the consequences. And as you need your feet every day, you should look after them properly. Here are a few tips.
A proper lifestyle
The health of our body as a whole depends on having a good lifestyle, which prevents a whole range of health issues and also obesity, which would result in the feet being under excessive strain on a daily basis. It is important to have a varied diet, centred around meat, vegetables and fruit, or to eat in line with your dietary preferences, taking any possible food intolerances into account. A healthy lifestyle also means limiting your consumption of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, not to mention other harmful substances. A healthy lifestyle includes not only food, but also regular exercise. You don’t need to suddenly become an athlete; simply take a short walk a few times a week.
When you go out for a walk, or anywhere else, make sure that you have footwear suitable for where you are going. We make a point of mentioning this, as there is no one type of footwear suitable for everything, from walking and running to all kinds of sports. Yet suitable shoes do have certain attributes in common. You can find them in our article on 5 tips on how to choose the right footwear.
Don’t overly strain your feet
Another point that is crucial for healthy feet is to not strain them excessively. This strain can be caused by various factors and you can influence the vast majority of them. You can place excess strain on your feet by standing or walking for a long time (such as at work), by training too hard (when you do not adapt the level of training exertion to suit your body), by being overweight or, for instance, by wearing unsuitable shoes (with a narrow toe, too high heels, and so on).
If you place excess strain on your feet, you can eventually suffer from a number of deformities, from flat feet and hallux valgus to heel spurs or Morton’s neuroma.
Rest and generation
And if you have given your feet a hard time, you should let them rest, to enable them to regenerate their energy and strength for the next day. The best way to do this is to get some quality sleep or to relax with your feet in a raised position.
You can also do a bit more as far as regeneration goes. One such compromise is to wear Foot Alignment Socks, where the only activity involved is putting them on. You then simply relax or sleep, and the Foot Alignment Socks will do the rest. You’ll feel a pleasant sense of relief after a long day on your feet. The socks will improve your circulation and stretch your foot muscles nicely. Foot Alignment Socks are a great preventive aid that are used by many physiotherapists and podiatrists or podologists. If you fancy being a bit more active, you can try certain foot exercises, foot massages (such as using a small ball) or walking on uneven surfaces (grass, sand, pebbles, etc.).
Thorough hygiene is also something we shouldn’t forget. Our feet sweat in socks and shoes throughout the day, not to mention when we’re doing sports. You should therefore follow a proper hygiene routine. Wash your feet carefully with soap, including between the toes, just like you do when washing your hands. What many people tend to overlook is drying them off properly. If you don’t dry your feet enough, you’re risking a fungal infection, for instance, or foot odour.
What will this do for your feet?
If you follow most of the recommendations above, your feet will thank you for it as they won’t hurt or suffer certain health problems. We can’t guarantee this, of course, as there are other factors involved, such as genetics or injuries. However, you have a far better chance than if you don’t do anything at all for your feet.