We stand on our legs for long hours, walk for considerable distances and go up and down I don''t know how many steps in a day. This might be enjoyable at times, but it certainly is not relaxation for the feet. More often than not the only time we care about our feet is when they suffer some form of ailment. However, like any other part of our body they need regular care.The abuse on feet can start from a very early age. When toddlers get to wear their first pair of shoes, we must make sure that both the socks and shoes are not too tight with the feet. A tight pair of shoes on young kids will lead to malformation of the feet. If this happens the repercussions are terrible for the rest of his or her life. Furthermore, a pair of shoes already worn by a boy or girl should never be passed on to another child, because those shoes have already taken the shape of the first wearer''s feet.
Another instance of how much we don''t give our feet their due attention is when we shop for a new pair of shoes. On such occasions we are likely to give more attention to fashion than to how comfortable the shoes are. With such behaviour we will probably suffer the consequences later in life. The following are some important hints when shopping for a pair of shoes:
- First and foremost buy shoes that are adequate for their intended use. If you want the shoes for walking, than high heels are definitely out. If you want them for country hiking, buy a pair with non-slip soles and a waterproof top.
- On the other hand wearing high heels for a social occasion is harmless as long as it is only for a few hours.
- When trying on the shoes wear the same kind of socks you would wear when using the new shoes. That is if you are trying on a pair of walking shoes do not wear tights, but wear walking socks.
- Put on both shoes and tie any laces or straps.
- Next step is to ensure it is the correct size. When standing up the large toe should be about 1cm away from the front. Still standing, go up on your toes and if there is any movement at the heels the shoes is too big.
- Before committing yourself to buy, walk a few feet inside the shop and make sure they are comfortable on our feet.
Feet require special attention. The following is a list of some simple and easy steps to care for your feet:
- Wash your feet daily with soap and warm water. Dry them properly, especially between the toes. Then apply some talcum powder, preferably non-perfumed.
- If you have dry skin on your feet, apply some moisturising cream after you dry them.
- If a pair of shoes have chafed your feet, clean the wound with a disinfectant and cover it with sterilized gauze. Do not try to burst any blisters ... and do not wear those shoes anymore.
- Change socks and tights daily. Feet perspire and if we don''t change socks they will smell and possibly irritate the skin.
- A bit of barefoot walking is restful for the feet. Children should also be encouraged to spend some time barefoot inside the house. Also, some barefoot walking on sand is good exercise for the feet.
- Toenails should always be cut straight. Furthermore, do not let the nails grow too long.
- It is better to have two pairs of high quality shoes and you alternate wearing them, than several inferior quality ones.
Foot care is even more important if the person is elderly, diabetic or has circulation problems. In such cases any discolouration or wounds on the feet should be referred to a health professional.
If we take good care of our feet as early as possible we can avoid many problems later on in life.
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