Foot Focus in Quarantine...

While staying at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, we must remember to maintain good habits and pay attention to our body – even parts of it we may not think twice about like our feet!

When we’re home, we tend to just wear socks, slippers, or even go barefoot. Now that we are in our homes for an extended period, without realizing it, we could be walking multiple steps a day inside our house. Without proper foot support though, we are going to start experiencing pain or discomfort — not only in our feet — but in our back, hips, knees, shoulders and even as high up as the neck.

Whether out and about or sheltering at home, good foot health is vital to overall body health – so be sure to give your feet some support!

Here are some tips to keep your feet and entire body healthy and happy!

Five Tips for Foot Health at Home:

1. Get walking!

Even if it's just inside your house or out in your yard/garden. Walking (in proper footwear) is an important way to keep fit and help prevent injuries.

Recommendation: For health benefits, you should try to walk at least 30 minutes each day. However, what you can do is based on individual ability and time available to you. Even a little bit can be beneficial!

2. Drink more water!

Most of us don’t drink enough water. Hydration aids in foot health – helping to prevent things like gout and arthritis pain.

Recommendation: Drink at least two liters or a half gallon of water each day.

3. Maintain proper hygiene!

Daily foot care is important to prevent ingrown nails and other dermatological issues. Make sure you wash your feet with mild soap and dry them well daily. You should trim your toenails every two weeks.

4. Limit sugary foods and junk food!

This tip is especially important for people living with diabetes. Food high in fat and sugar, can worsen nerve conditions in the feet and create complications such as diabetic infections.

Recommendation: Have healthy but satisfying snacks on hand such as vegetables and/or nuts, which contain protein.

5. Exercise and stretch your feet!

Keeping the feet strong can alleviate soreness and improve flexibility.

Recommendation: It is good to stretch the feet 2-3 times a day using range of motion exercises such as:

· Pointing and flexing – Sitting in a chair with feet flat on floor, raise and lower ankles. Can add toe point and arch curl as a second step

· Toe curling – Use toes to pick up small objects

· Foot roll – While seated, roll foot over a frozen water bottle or golf ball.

Written by: Pieter Roos (Podiatrist)

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