The holiday season is a great time to be surrounded by loved ones, but the New Year is all about you! New Year’s resolutions are a tradition practiced year after year, and one of the most common resolutions is to become healthier. While it is an excellent goal, most think of it as purely diet and exercise, but we want to also be a part of your New Year by making sure you consider your foot and ankle health. To help you, we’ve provided a few tips on how to have healthy and strong feet this year.
Get rid of your old shoes and buy new ones, as you should replace your shoes after every 500 miles, 6-8 months, or once they become loose and unsupportive. The more frequent you wear your shoes, the faster the pair may wear out.
Limit time spent in unsupportive footwear such as heels or sandals as they can be harmful to your foot health. Fashionable shoes for long wear are not worth the foot pain or troubles they can cause. Consider using orthotic inserts to reduce strain while wearing shoes without support.
If you have custom orthotics or braces, continue to wear them as they protect your body during recovery but also help to prevent the recurrence or worsening of the injury.
Use comfortable, supportive, and appropriate footwear. Depending on the activity, specific shoes may be required, such as running shoes or hiking boots. Always make sure the shoes you wear are protective and fit properly, so they are not injury-inducing.
Take time to give your feet some love. Wash them daily and keep your toenails trimmed. Consider adding a foot massage with moisturizing lotion at the end of the day or after a shower to keep your feet feeling soft and supple.
Exercise is an integral part of living a healthy life, but remember to take it slow when first starting a new exercise routine. Going too hard too soon can lead to serious foot and ankle injuries that could cause you to take a break on your fitness goals this new year.
When exercising, pay attention to your feet, ankles, and legs for any pain or discomfort. Be sure to include some foot exercises or stretches during your workout or even while you are sitting at home or work. Daily stretches of the toes, feet, ankles, and legs like yoga can help make you more aware of your body while improving strength, flexibility, and balance.
Don’t “Muscle Through”
We strongly advise you not to run or exercise through pain as doing so may worsen the injury. If you experience any pain during exercise or activity, stop right away. Rest, ice, compress, and elevate (RICE) is a great first step to treating an injury at home, but if pain persists, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist.
Make your yearly foot care appointment to address any concerns you may have about your feet and so that your podiatrist can monitor the condition of your health. Conditions such as corns, bunions, and calluses should not be ignored as certain conditions can identify other health issues within the body, such as diabetes or vascular diseases.
We wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope you add healthy feet to your list of New Year’s resolutions. For more information regarding how to keep your feet healthy this year, or if you have any questions, please contact Martha P. Aponte, DPM today. Our staff is eager to assist you with your new year’s journey.