Keeping your feet healthy is vital if you’re to stay active and healthy all-round. Mistreating or neglecting your feet can cause you pain, as well as periods of debility that may make other problems worse, so you need to make sure your feet are always ready to go.

Thankfully, keeping your tootsies in top condition isn’t complicated, so here is a rundown of the things you can do to stay on their good side.

Keep them clean and dry

This is something you can do every day to make sure your feet and toes are comfortable. Wash and dry your feet once a day and make sure you dry them before putting on socks and shoes. If your feet are warm and damp, various fungi will see them as the ideal place to settle down and start a fungal family.

Check out your feet once a week

Once a week or so, take a good look at your feet. Examine the soles for discolouration, dry skin or blisters, and look in between your toes for peeling or redness, as this can mean a fungal infection like athlete’s foot. You should also look at your nails for discolouration, flaking or pitted areas as this could also mean fungal problems. If you’re diabetic, you should perform this check every day.

Don’t be scared of seeing the foot doctor

They’re there to help you and the sooner you get that help, the sooner you’ll recover. You may need a small procedure, or some meds, or even a set of stretches – seeing a foot physiotherapist in Northwich often leads to a new exercise regime!

Cut toenails straight

Make sure you always cut your toenails straight across, rather than following the natural curve of the nailbed. You should also avoid cutting them too close to the skin as this can cause ingrown toenails, which is painful and debilitating.

Don’t gloss over ugly nails

Covering up ugly, discoloured and ridges toenails with polish won’t make the problem go away if it’s a fungal infection, in fact it could make the problem worse.

Take care in public

When you’re at the pool or the gym, make sure you wear shower slippers otherwise you’re almost guaranteed to come away with a little “gift” in the form of a verruca or athlete’s foot!

Keep your shoes to yourself

In the same way as you can pick up a fungus at the gym, you can pick one up by sharing shoes and socks with another person.

Wear cotton socks

Each foot has 250,000 sweat glands! Once they’re ensconced in socks and shoes, that sweat can find it hard to evaporate, so wearing socks made of fabric that can wick away sweat is important. It’s also a good idea to wear shoes that let your feet “breathe” – leather shoes are good for this, as well as any footwear that incorporates mesh.

Make sure the shoe fits

Shoes that are too tight will compress your bones, muscles and nerves, leading to short-term pain and long-term damage. You need rounded shoes that leave your toes enough room to wiggle, as well as a stable, low heel. Pointy shoes should be avoided as much as possible. Shoes that are too loose can cause gait problems and blisters.

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