Caring for your Feet

We pay little attention to our feet until they start to hurt. Every day except in summer we squeeze them into shoes that don't quite fit or shoes that are too tight/high. 
The human foot is composed of 26 bones 114 ligaments and 20 muscles. They bear the entire weight of our bodies, and with no thought at all, they are permanently making tiny adjustments which allows us to balance our bodies.  Our aim should be to have healthy feet,  it's never to late to start on the right road to healthy feet.
To help you obtain and maintain healthy feet you can:-
• give them a massage
exercise them daily
• give them a weekly pedicure
• visit a chiropodist at least twice a year
• wear good fitting shoes
• go bare foot as often as possible
• try Reflexology and don't forget to put them up for a rest
Healthy Feet Tips
1. Feet are still rested in the morning so always buy new shoes in the afternoon, as you'll get a better fit.
2. Try to go barefoot as often as possible and vary the height of your heels to keep your calf and feet muscles flexible.
3. Suffer from cold feet? A brisk walk taken daily will increase your blood flow to the feet and will aid the healing of cuts or infection.
4. Swollen ankles will be greatly reduced by taking 10 minutes lying down on your back, with your feet resting on cushions at a 45-degree angle.
5. Remember "a plaster in your pocket is worth 10 in your first aid box".
6. Don't forget to wiggle your toes this helps with circulation and flexibility
There is nothing worse than tired, achy feet, but it take's a small amount of time to replenish them. Following this easy routine will soon put the spring back in your step, and after all don't your feet deserve a treat!
Pamper your Feet
Submerge the feet in a bowl of warm, not to hot water, for 5 minutes. To this water you can add any of your favourite oils or bubble baths, peppermint will cool, chamomile will sooth and lavender will relax. Tea tree is also great because of it anti-viral, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. There are some really great products around today for feet. After soaking for five minutes dry them thoroughly and dust them with tackle powder. Then put your feet up and rest them for at least fifteen minutes.
Foot Massage
For a quick and simple self massage it is best to soak the feet first in warm water (as above) this will help to relax them and increase the circulation in the feet. You can use a massage oil or talcum powder.
1. Massage one foot at a time, bringing it on to the opposite thigh, with your
    knee bent up at a right angle.
2. Stroke the foot with both hands, covering the top of the foot with your hands,
    from the tip of the toes to the anklebones. Repeat 3 times.
3. Then with your fingertips on either side of your ankle circle your anklebones
     in a clockwise direction 3 times. Then repeat in an anti-clockwise
    direction 3 times
4. If you have started with your right foot then run the thumb and index finger
    of your left hand up and down the back of the heel, slowly, 3 times. Do the
    opposite with the left foot, this time use your right hand.
5. Now turn your foot towards you and using both your thumbs massage each
    pad on the bottom of your foot, including the base of the heel.
6. Then make a fist and place it in the arch of your foot and rock backwards
    and forwards 4 or 5 times, using the opposite fist to the foot you are working
7. Then take each toe with your thumb and index finger and circle in one
    direction and then the other. Only tiny circles.
8. Now pull each toe (gently) with the thumb and index finger. Then do the
    same to the other foot.
Exercising your Feet
Exercising your feet should be done daily. Most people would say that they don't have time. There must be a point in the day that you are able to sit on the floor for five minutes, well that all it takes. It is very important to exercise your feet. They have to support your body, and whatever your body carries around with it. Exercising your feet will improve circulation, muscle tone and your balance.
1. First sit on the floor resting your back against a chair or a sofa, (with a
    straight back) with your legs straight out in front of you
2. Rotate the feet around in a circular clockwise direction, keeping your knees
    still and only working from the ankles. Repeat 10 times, then wait two
    minutes and do the same in a anti-clockwise direction, ten times.
3. Point the feet forward with pointed toes then flex back towards the knees and
    repeat ten times.
4. Now bend the knees and put your feet flat on the floor, flex the toes towards
    the knees then release them, repeat this five times.
5. Stand up, lift one leg a few inches off the floor and relax the foot that is
    raised. Then shake it gently, swap legs and repeat.  If you at any time feel
    pain .... stop.
Problems with your Feet*
Foot problems include smelly feet, athlete’s foot, verrucae (flat warts in the sole of the foot, corns and infected toenails.
Smelly feet are usually caused by excessive perspiration and an over-growth of fungi and/or bacteria.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection.  It is contagious via direct contact, wet floors and shared footwear. Verrucae are also contagious via wet floors and may take up to 2 years to disappear..

Corns are hard skin that builds up on areas of the feet that are subject to pressure or friction, such as on the little toe.

Infected toenails are commonly the result of a fungal infection.  Affected  toenails are often brittle, discoloured or yellow.
What can you do to care for your feet?
Here are several steps you can take towards healthy feet.
    -   Wear thongs in public showers such as in camping grounds and gyms to
        help prevent you from contracting athlete’s foot.
    -   Wash your feet twice daily and dry them thoroughly, particularly between
        your toes. Use a clean towel.
    -    Change your socks daily and wear cotton, not synthetic, socks.
    -   Wash your socks and towels at a high temperature (hot cycle on
        washing machine).
    -   Wear well-fitting leather shoes that allow your feet to ‘breathe’ (synthetic
        shoes tend to increase the amount of perspiration) or wear open shoes or
        sandals to allow air to circulate freely.
    -   Bleach your shower/bath area.
    -   When applying corn or verrucae medication, make sure it does not get
        on the healthy, unaffected skin.


* sourced from MediMedia


  Picture ©  celinet