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BellaOnline's Geriatrics Editor

Healthy, Happy Feet

Your feet are probably the most neglected part of your body. Yet, healthy feet are vital to walking, running, and even standing for prolonged periods of time. Over the course of her lifetime, the average woman walks well over 100,000 miles!

Be good to your feet. Here are some tips on how to pamper those oh so precious appendages.

•Wash your feet daily and dry them well. Apply a moisturizer, such as lotion or petroleum jelly after cleaning your feet.
•Check your feet for skin breakdown, corns/calluses or other abnormalities regularly. It’s much better to find a minor problem early than a major problem down the line.
•Wear a fresh pair of socks/hose daily.
•When you exercise, wear cotton socks
•Whenever possible, wear canvas or leather shoes that will allow your feet to breathe.
•Avoid tight-fitting shoes.
•If you wear high heel shoes, choose shoes that are comfortable.
•Exercise regularly with well-cushioned shoes.
•Don’t smoke. Doing so can decrease circulation to your feet.
•If you are prone to sweat, use foot powder.
•When you trim your toenails, trim them straight across with a nail clipper. File down the edges with an emery board.

If you really want to pamper yourself, buy a foot spa (from someplace like Target) and sit back in your favorite chair, turn on relaxing music, and turn on the warm, exhilarating bubbles! Don’t forget to have a soothing beverage, such as a glass of white wine or a cup of green tea close by.

Alternatively, buy a paraffin wax bath and quickly dip your feet in the tub of warm, slippery ooze. Then promptly cover them with plastic wrap footies that come with your purchase. While you are at it, dip in those tired hands too. Once the wax hardens, slowly peel it off and enjoy your baby-soft skin. Finish your luxurious adventure by applying your favorite moisturizer. Next it is time to snuggle up with a good book and doze off into a deep, relaxing sleep.

Common foot problems and how to avoid them

•Athlete’s foot may be prevented by not walking in warm, damp places in your bare feet.
•Blisters, bunions, calluses, and corns can be avoided by wearing shoes that fit properly.
•Smelly feet can be lessened by good daily foot hygiene.
•Ingrown toenails can be prevented by wearing shoes that fit well and trimming your nails properly.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Maria Hester, M.D.. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Maria Hester, M.D.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Patricia Villani, MPA, PhD for details.

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