The feet are the part of the body that is mostly taken for granted. This is because, more often than not, they are tucked away inside stockings and shoes, leaving room for only the visible parts of the body to be displayed. But our feet are very vital to the body especially for mobility. They carry us for an average of 185,000 KMs for a lifetime.
Your feet are made up of a network of muscles, ligaments, bones, tendons and nerves. Little wonder why foot problems are very common. As we age, the problems we encounter with our feet get worse. This is why it is especially necessary to take care of our feet.
Here are some amazing fun facts about your feet
- One quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet. Each normal foot has 33 joints, 26 bones, 19 muscles, and 107 ligaments. Though some people are born with 28 bones in each foot , and there are also people born with extra toes. This is a case of polydacactylism.
- If you can feel your whole foot touch the floor when you stand, you have flat feet. Young children usually have them, majorly because their foot bones, tendons, and ligaments haven’t yet formed arches.
- It’s normal for some people to never develop arches, but flat feet can cause pain. On the other hand, well-aligned flat feet can be helpful, because they support the body’s weight over a bigger area.
- Over 75 percent of people have foot problems in people over 18 and above are sprains and strains
- Your toenails tend to grow much more slowly than fingernails do.
- Skin on the soles of your feet is thicker than the skin in any part of your body.
- Each foot has more than 250,000 sweat glands, and they can produce up to half a pint of moisture a day!
- Walking is the best exercise for your feet, and it’s also a great way to get overall exercise for your body: it boosts circulation and helps you burn calories.
- Standing still is way more tiring than walking, because you only use a few muscles when you’re still, whereas walking distributes the weight and effort over more muscles.
Common foot problems
There are common feet problems you may encounter, these problems include: ingrown toenails, calluses, foot odor, injuries, fungal infections, cracked skin, wearing improper foot wears, ulcers, planter warts, athlete foot, strained arches, thick nail and loose nail, and a host of others. However, routine foot care can help keep your feet healthy and happy.
Below are 5 easy tips that keep your feet healthy and happy
- Wash your feet often
Washing your feet at least twice everyday should be included in your daily routine. This is because; your feet are almost always trapped in shoes all day long. The sweat and moisture that builds up while your legs are inside the shoe makes it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi to grow, The growth of bacteria and fungi can result in unpleasant odor, infections and other skin conditions around your feet. As much as feet are often overlooked, it is very important to wash your feet, especially in between your toes(as that is a safe haven for bacteria to breed). Remember to wash your feet with mild soap or even your regular soap while you shower. And also, take care to dry them very well especially in between your toes. This will help reduce the intrusion of bacteria and fungi drastically. Hence, preventing infections and other skin conditions.
- Moisturize your feet often
If your skin is dry, you should apply moisturizing cream around it; except in between your toes. Though keeping your skin dry is very important, it is also expedient you moisturize properly. This helps your skin remain soft, thereby, preventing dry, scaly or cracked skin , especially during the dry or sunny seasons. Keeping your skin moisturized properly is as important as wearing foot wears that allow your skin to breathe and release moisture.
If you have very dry feet, one option is to wash your feet in the evening, dry very well in between your toes, and apply a lotion that contains cocoa butter(or any other emollient) your feet. Put on a pair of cotton socks overnight to allow the cocoa butter to stay on the skin. Your feet will feel smoother in the morning
Socks absorb and dry out moisture. They cushion your feet and reduce the wear and tear on your feet. The cushioning from the socks is important because it helps absorb impact from standing and walking. Your heels feel this impact most often that’s why as we age, the fatty pads on your heels tend to thin down. That is why daily use of socks is highly recommended. The socks should be made of cotton or wool. For athletic purposes, synthetic materials are recommended to wick away sweat and moisture.
It is also very important you wear socks that fit, paying attention particularly to the width of your feet and ankle.
If you have swollen feet, you should look for socks designed to accommodate your swelling. Your best bet for this is elastic-free socks.
If you are having difficulty feeling your feet properly, then, avoid socks that have knoobly seams. They can rub and damage your skin.
Also, try and change your socks as often as possible. It helps your feet breathe, keep them at the right temperature, and most importantly, avoids odor.
- Cut down on your high heels down
You should only wear high heels or pointed shoes when there’s an occasion for it. Wearing heels that higher than 5ccm on a regular basis can damage your feet.
Also, always try to wear comfortable shoes, as they can help keep your feet healthy.
- Take a walk
Just like every other part of your body, your feet deserve to be exercised. If you spend all day sitting or standing, walking, even if only a short daily walk, will help to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your feet and keep your ligaments and tendons flexible. And while you are at it, pick a proper fitting comfortable shoe.