Whereas some people think a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year, we have an even better option in mind if you want to give yourself something special – optimal foot health in 2018 (and beyond!).
Of course a podiatrist is going to say that, right?
Well, that doesn’t make it any less true!
Sure, our chosen profession makes us a bit more aware of how much we all rely on our feet, but take a moment and consider everything your lower limbs do for you. Even beyond standing, walking, and running, you use your feet and ankles to:
- Ride a bike
- Kick while swimming
- Perform yoga poses
- Push down on the gas and brake pedals in your car
No matter if we talk about things you have to do (go to work, shop for food) or the things you enjoy doing (playing sports, attending events), your feet are the key to it all.
So if you want to have as many options as possible throughout the entire year, you need to take some measures for optimal foot health, and these include:
- Address problems early. Given how often we use them, the sheer amount of forces we place upon them, and all of the bones, muscles, and connective tissues that form them, there are numerous things that can, and do, go wrong in feet and ankles. No matter the problem, call us to have it resolved early! (This will help an otherwise easy fix from becoming a complicated solution.)
- Exercise regularly. New Year’s Day isn’t terribly far off at this point. If you are like most people, you might be planning to exercise more often in 2018. That is an outstanding idea!
Your exercise plan doesn’t have to be overly complicated or consist of grueling marathon training (unless if your goal is to actually run a marathon). Even taking a 30-minute walk three or four times a week is beneficial for both your overall and foot health.
That said, make sure you see us and your primary care physician if it’s been awhile since you last exercised. We can identify potential risks and help you determine which activities will be best for you and your particular situation.
- Eat the right foods. As is the case with exercise, there’s a decent chance you already started thinking about this for one of your New Year’s resolutions. If you decided to go this route—and we recommend you do—make sure you don’t “go on a diet.”
Put simply, “I’m going on a diet” is not the right mindset to have. Instead, decide that you are going to “make healthy dietary choices.” Phrasing it this way is more empowering, while at the same time feeling less limiting.
Those healthy choices should include fresh fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, legumes, nuts, and foods made from whole grains. It’s also a good idea to make the decision to pass on sugar-laden beverages and drink more water and tea. (Coffee is certainly fine, but go easy on the cream and sugar!)
- Protect your feet. Limit how often you wear high heels and flip-flops. Always wear activity-appropriate footwear when doing physical activities. Make sure your shoes fit properly (not too tight, not too loose). Wear steel-toed work boots or safety shoes if your job requires you to move heavy items on a frequent basis.
- Manage your diabetes. There are numerous health concerns when it comes to diabetes, but don’t ignore the effects it can have on your feet. Issues like peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), Charcot foot, and diabetic ulcers are all major concerns. Make sure you have a diabetic foot care plan in place and are following it!
For more information on foot health—or if you need to request an appointment for treatment—call 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if calling from Lake County). Our team will be glad to help you however we can!