Tips for Healthier Feet

Studies show that visiting your podiatrist and having proper foot hygiene is essential because spending more time on your feet lowers mortality rate.

You may not think it, but the health of your feet is an essential component of leading an overall healthy lifestyle. After all, we generally spend a large chunk of our day standing, walking, or running, with some professions requiring people to be on their feet for 10+ hours at a time. As we’ve come to know, not spending enough time on your feet can be even more detrimental—a study released in 2010 by the American Cancer Society showed that above-average couch time was associated with a 17% higher mortality rate in men and a 34% higher mortality rate in women over a 14-year period. Staying on your feet certainly is not a cancer cure, but it is probably a prevention.

For most people, simply choosing properly fitting shoes with ample cushioning will be enough. However, some individuals whose professions require them to be on their feet for extended periods of time, or those who have preexisting foot issues may need specialized footwear.
For most people, simply choosing properly fitting shoes with ample cushioning will be enough. However, some individuals whose professions require them to be on their feet for extended periods of time, or those who have preexisting foot issues may need specialized footwear.

The importance of having strong, healthy feet is an undeniable medical fact, but how exactly do you go about maintaining healthier feet? Below are 4 tips for doing so:

1. Practice Proper Foot Hygiene and Care
The first step to maintaining good foot health is making sure that your feet receive proper daily care. That means keeping them hydrated with lotion during the day to avoid fissures and cracking, applying sunscreen when your feet are exposed to direct sunlight, properly cutting your toenails (straight across) to avoid ingrown toenails, and making sure your feet are completely dry after taking a shower, going swimming, etc.

2. Invest in the Right Shoes
Just as no two body types are alike, no two pairs of feet are the same. With that in mind, it’s important to invest an appropriate amount of time—and money—into finding the right size, style, and brand of shoes that will be the most beneficial to the health of your feet. For most people, simply choosing properly fitting shoes with ample cushioning will be enough. However, some individuals whose professions require them to be on their feet for extended periods of time, or those who have preexisting foot issues may need specialized footwear.

Manufacturers like Orthofeet Dr. Comfort Shoes, and Aestrex are in business to provide extra wide, deep, and therapeutic shoes for people who need a bit more out of their daily footwear.




3. Change it Up
It’s no secret that your feet sweat—a lot. All of the sweat builds up as the day progresses, collecting in your socks and shoes. Not only do things get a bit smelly, but that moisture can also lead to some nasty infections and foot fungus if your shoes do not have ample time to dry after a full day’s use. Make sure that you change your socks every day, and avoid wearing the same pair of shoes several days in a row if possible.

4. Visit a Podiatrist
If you are having foot pain or just general issues with your feet, it’s important to consult a podiatrist before things escalate further. Since finding the right podiatrist may be little bit more difficult considering you don’t normally consult with one on a regular basis, the American Podiatric Medical Association provides an online database of qualified podiatrists throughout the country to help in your search.

 

 

Truths Behind Common Health Myths

Common health myths still prevail like cracking your knuckles causes arthritis, red meat is bad for you and hydrogen peroxide reduces infections.

In spite of the world of health and medicine becoming an expansive field, there are some common health myths and therefore, the truth behind them is usually hidden. Being filled with pills, medical equipment suppliers, and uncounted doctors, nurses, and professionals in the medical business, whom go out of their way to save people’s lives, doctors are constantly making new discoveries about the human body. This has paved the way for conflicting opinions and contradictory information.

Red meat isn’t bad for you. Processed meat is.
Red meat isn’t bad for you. Processed meat is.

Let’s take a look at some of the prevailing myths in the medical world and the truths behind them.

1. Cracking your knuckles leads to arthritis.

After typing up part of your novel or moving around some heavy furniture, cracking your knuckles just feels great. It relieves the pressure and just plain sounds cool, but your mom told you time and time again that cracking your knuckles too much would eventually lead to arthritis.

But let’s take a step back at what cracking your knuckles actually does. Contrary to what your mom thinks, that cracking noise doesn’t come from popping your joints out of place or grinding your bones together. The sound actually comes from tiny gas bubbles popping in the fluid of the joints of your fingers, and as the results of a fifty-year study showed, cracking your knuckles won’t cause arthritis, so keep on cracking. Just remember that some people find the sound more annoying than others.

2. Hydrogen peroxide is the best product for disinfection.

Just about everyone has a bottle of hydrogen peroxide somewhere in the home. It’s your go-to product when you need to disinfect a wound, from paper cuts to skinned knees. The problem: it doesn’t actually work. Studies show that hydrogen peroxide has little to no effect in reducing the bacteria count and that it fails to clear up infections. In fact, the only thing it might do is flush out debris thanks to the pouring motion.

The better solution would be to wash the wound with water and use antibiotic creams and ointments, like Neosporin, to heal and protect them from potential infection. Remember, antibiotics only work on bacterial infections (versus viruses), and an infected wound is just that.

3. Red meat is bad for you.

Various studies show how the steak on your plate will raise your cholesterol and cause your heart and blood vessels to jump right out of your body. Others say that red meat is implicated in diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. The big problem with these studies is that they don’t differentiate between processed and unprocessed meat.

Seems insignificant. Frankly, red meat alone isn’t bad for you. Processed meats, which are designed to last longer than fresh meat from the butcher, contain various salts, additives, and preservatives to ensure that they’ll practically survive a nuclear fallout. Those additives are what actually can cause heart disease, cancer, and obesity. The main reason we’re more likely to reach for the processed hot dogs and bacon over a fresh T-bone has to do with price and preparation. Think about it. You could get two weeks worth of processed deli meats for a fraction of the price of fresh meat.

Red meat isn’t bad for you. Processed meat is. Try going the extra effort to pick out your favorite cut of meat from your local butcher. Your taste buds will thank you too. You don’t have to sacrifice great taste.

Just remember: health isn’t all that complicated. Stay active, eat whole foods, and take care of yourself. You’ll be just fine.