While those in the northern US may be shivering in parkas and insulated boots as the New Year rings in, here in Arizona we enjoy warmer temps, and it’s not unusual to wear sandals year round. The dry warm air brings its own problems, though, so we want to share some good foot health habits to cultivate as part of your New Year’s resolutions.
First, some foot hygiene tips: Wash your feet with warm water and mild soap every day, and follow with a good moisturizer, to get rid of bacteria and fungus and keep your skin soft. Don’t forget routine nail care, including proper trimming.
Next, footwear tips: Wear fresh socks every day, and change them if your feet sweat a lot. Shoes should let your feet breathe to cut down the risk for athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. They shouldn’t cramp any part of your feet and should offer support where you need it for good alignment and gait patterns.
Third, exercise tips: Try to walk 15-30 minutes most days, to keep feet strong and your blood moving. Running and recreational sports are also excellent ways to keep fit, but make sure you wear the proper shoes for your activity and warm up and stretch before and after your workout. Mix it up with bicycling, a yoga class, or swimming on alternate days to avoid overuse injuries.
Finally, diet tips: Feet bear your whole weight, and the force is multiplied as you walk or run on them, so controlling your weight or losing weight are great goals for the new year. If you struggle with diabetes, you have the added challenge of keeping your glucose levels steady. We can give nutrition advice for both, as well as for building strong bones and muscles.
Knowing when you need help is part of caring for your feet. You may have been taking them for granted, thinking pain is normal or will go away on its own, but this isn’t always so. Sometimes the only way to solve a problem is with a visit to our office for correct diagnosis and treatment. Start the new year right: call Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona for an appointment today. You can dial (480) 963-9000 for our Chandler location or (480) 981-1800 for the Gilbert office, or fill out our contact form to schedule your visit. Happy New Year!