The New Year is around the corner and it’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions! Here are a few action steps you can take to make great foot health a part of your overall health goals.
#1: Walk More
Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise; it doesn’t require any special equipment. You just need to lace up your shoes and find some open space. Walking builds and strengthens muscles in your lower extremities and feet and improves circulation. It also helps you keep excess weight off, which means your feet aren’t overstressed and it’s good for your overall health. Even in small 15-20 minute doses, walking will help keep your feet and your body in shape.
#2: Shed a Few Pounds
Given that your feet bear the weight of your entire body as they carry you through your daily routine, it's not surprising that being overweight can lead to foot problems and you don't have to be extremely obese. Even 25 extra pounds can tip the scales to more problems in the foot and ankle. Simply put less weight means less stress on feet.
#3: Don't Ignore Recurring Symptoms and Pain
Your best chance of relieving your pain and discomfort, and finding out just exactly what’s bothering you is an evaluation by your Podiatric physician. A change in your feet can be the first sign of a potential problem. Circulatory and nerve disorders, nutritional deficiencies, metabolic problems and diabetes can manifest themselves in presenting symptoms of the lower extremities and feet. A clinical diagnosis, treatment plan and periodic evaluations can go a long way in preventing major problems.
#4: Upgrade Your Nutrition
Everyone knows that what you eat affects your body and that includes your feet and lower extremities. Cut back on, or avoid foods that cause inflammation or effect your circulation and vascular status. For metabolic benefits, shift more of your caloric intake to the daytime. Start with a nutritious breakfast and eat your largest meal at midday.
If you have gout, maintaining a healthy eating plan can reduce your symptoms. Once you know which foods to avoid, you can find healthy alternatives that won’t trigger your symptoms.
#5: Participate in Activities that Improve Strength, Balance, Mobility and Flexibility
Consider adding an activity to your workout schedule that has the potential to improve your strength, balance, mobility and flexibility. Depending on your age and physical condition exercise routines like yoga, pilates, tai chi, recumbent cycling, water aerobics, balance training can reap huge health benefits, prevent lower extremity injuries and improve overall health.