Not a day goes by that we don’t use our feet in some way. Whether it’s to get from point A to point B, hiking, swimming, cycling, dancing, or a number of other activities, being able to rely on our feet is a huge advantage.
As we age, the skin on our feet generally becomes dryer and rougher. They can also become wider and flatter. Genetics, our state of health, and how we use our feet affect how well our feet are doing and how they age. Without proper care, we can suffer from mobility issues, infections, and injuries. Proper foot care is thus crucial.
Here are 12 ways to be kind to your aging feet:
1. Regularly Wash Your Feet
You should regularly wash your feet with lukewarm water and antiseptic soap. Once clean, thoroughly dry them to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Dirty feet can cause infections such as athlete’s foot.
2. Bi-Weekly Exfoliation
Feet tend to get dry and damaged due to the friction caused by walking. This can thicken or harden the skin in certain areas, which can cause calluses or corns. Exfoliating the feet twice a week helps remove dry and dead skin while reducing the formation of corns and calluses.
3. Moisturise Your Feet
Dry skin loses its elasticity, making it prone to tearing. The soles of the feet, especially the heels, tend to get cracked and damaged. It is, therefore, essential to moisturise your feet regularly, particularly during the arid months of winter.
4. Trim Your Toenails
Overgrown toenails can collect dust, break, or become ingrown, which can be painful. Regularly trimming the toenails will prevent ingrowth and nail damage, reducing the risk of pain and discomfort during walking.
5. Invest in Well-fitted Shoes
Comfortable footwear is crucial for ensuring that your feet can move naturally as you walk. If you wear bad shoes, that don’t fit well, you’re at higher risk of injuring yourself. Plus, it’s uncomfortable and painful to walk.
Pay attention to the size, fit, material, and sole of your footwear. Invest in good-quality, comfortable shoes.
6. Massage Your Feet Every Day
Massaging the feet every day can help improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and relieve aches and pains. It also helps relax the muscles in the feet. A quick 5 to 10-minute massage before bedtime should suffice.
7. Indulge in Weekly Soaks
Soaking your feet can effectively get rid of dirt and dead skin while relieving muscle tension. A good soak can also do wonders for relaxation and foot health.
Mix warm water and Epsom salts for a quick and easy 20-minute soak.
8. Foot Stretches or Yoga
Stretching the feet will help reduce clots, improve blood circulation, and relax the muscles. Try doing at least 5 minutes of foot stretches and exercises daily to keep your feet healthy.
9. Don’t Cross Your Legs Too Much
Do you regularly cross your legs while sitting? It’s better for your feet if you avoid crossing your legs for long periods because it can inhibit blood circulation in the feet.
10. Switch Out Your Socks and Shoes
Don’t wear the same pair of socks multiple days in a row. Wash and change your socks after every use. Similarly, don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row, especially if you’ve worn them all day. Rotate your shoes, so they air out and dry.
11. Avoid Going Barefoot
While going barefoot in public areas is definitely a no-no, try to wear soft, comfortable house slippers at home as well so your feet won’t be in contact with the ground for long periods.
12. Visit Your Doctor for Regular Checkups
As you age, regular check-ups are important to ensure that you remain healthy and no problem goes unchecked for too long. The same applies to your feet. Regularly get them checked, preferably by a podiatrist.
Our feet often go ignored in our self-care regimens. Over time, this can have adverse effects. Taking care of your feet ensures that they remain healthy so they look good and can keep up with your activities even as you age.