It has been estimated that an average human being would have walked at least 75,000 miles by the time she reaches 50. It can be much more in avid walkers and runners though. The most abused and least acknowledged parts of the human body are the feet.
Aging-related changes lead to loss of collagen and elastin that give skin its firmness and elasticity. In the case of the feet, thickening of the skin of the sole, foot pain and fungal infections of the nails also occur. Here are 5 tips you can follow to maintain the health of your feet even with increasing age.
1. Wear Comfortable And Sturdy Footwear
Your footwear should not support your feet and leg bones well even if they appear to be less trendy. If you really fancy wearing shoes over sandals then go for the ones with wide toe boxes. Prevent nasty shoe bites from appearing by applying a bit of vaseline over the areas
Flip flops and ones with less grip are not advised for use as it can increase the likelihood of a fall. Nowadays, there are a lot of footwear designs that have inbuilt pressure bumps so that acupressure points are massaged while you walk. Go for insoles if you frequently experience heel pain.1
2. Maintain Proper Foot Hygiene
Make it a routine to keep your feet clean by washing it with a mild soap and pumice stone daily. It should be followed by thorough drying. This time can also be used for trimming the toenails straight so that they don’t become ingrown. If you can reach down or bend over to cut your nails get a pedicure done from a trusted and
3. Watch Out For Bunions, Corns, Calluses, And Spurs
The constant friction between the bony portion of the feet and shoes create corns and calluses. Meet a podiatrist for better medical attention. Often people use over-the-counter medicines to get rid of corns and callouses and suffer allergic reactions.
You also have to be watchful of fungal and viral infections that can affect the feet. These appear as warts and crusty skin which needs medical attention too. Some seniors develop bunions and spurs which can be managed with medications or in severe cases physiotherapy and surgery.
4. Check Your Feet Daily Before Bedtime
This should be a practice you follow especially if you are a diabetic.Look for any cuts, growths, unhealing sores or bruises that are aching or need attention. Don’t ignore them as leaving them untreated can lead to
5. Practice Foot Exercises Daily
Practicing foot exercises daily can promote blood and oxygen supply to the feet. There are 3 simple exercises you can do for 5 minute multiple times a day.
- Sit comfortably and roll your feet over a foam roller or a sturdy water bottle. Do this for a minute and switch to the other foot.
- After being seated on a chair, fold a towel lengthwise and place it under the arches of both feet. The ends of the towel should be in your hands and pulled upwards. Hold this position for 30
- While sitting cross-legged, grab your big toe, pull it towards you for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
It’s not a herculean task to take care of your feet. With increasing age, you would need to be extra careful with your body and lifestyle. Show some appreciation for your feet and they will be healthy and problem-free for years to come.
|↑1||Yung-Hui, Lee, and Hong Wei-Hsien. “Effects of shoe inserts and heel height on foot pressure, impact force, and perceived comfort during walking.” Applied ergonomics 36, no. 3 (2005): 355-362.|
|↑2||Chiwanga, Faraja S., and Marina A. Njelekela. “Diabetic foot: prevalence, knowledge, and foot self-care practices among diabetic patients in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania–a cross-sectional study.” Journal of foot and ankle research 8, no. 1 (2015): 20.|