Ways to Take Care of Your Feet Every Day

Take a walk

This might seem counterintuitive, since walking puts stress on your feet. The muscles in your feet are just like any other muscles -- they need exercise to stay strong. You can't really lift weights with your foot muscles, so the best way to exercise them is to just take a walk.

Wash your feet every day

Even the most conscientious and clean person among us skips washing his or her feet in the shower every now and then. It can be a pain. It's really important to the health of your feet, though.

Moisturize

Moisturizing your feet seems to contradict everything we've told you about keeping your feet dry. Why would you add extra moisture? The wear and tear endured by your feet each day can result in areas of dry, cracked or scaly skin.

Start the countdown

Your feet are probably the last part of your body you think about -- until they start hurting. They're too important to overlook, though: With some 26 bones and a complex framework of muscles, tendons and ligaments, your feet absorb the impact of your full body weight with every step, keeping you balanced and upright in the process.

The problems that can afflict your feet are numerous. Foot odor, cracked skin, fallen arches, corns, ingrown toenails, fungal infections and even damaged bones can cause discomfort and reduced mobility. While some of these problems are congenital, you can avoid many of them with a little TLC. If that wasn't enough of an incentive, all of these problems tend to worsen as we age, so if foot care doesn't seem important now, it will be.

The best way to keep your feet healthy is a simple regimen of daily care that will help keep the skin, bones and muscles of your feet functioning properly. Here are five foot care steps you can use every day.

Wear comfortable shoes

Wearing the wrong shoes can affect many aspects of foot health. First, your shoes must fit. Shoes that fit too tightly can cause hammer toe, corns, ingrown toenails and general foot pain. Overly large shoes prevent your heel from settling in the proper place as you walk, causing blisters and calluses, sore heels and excessive shoe wear. Remember that your feet "stretch out" late in the day, so go shoe shopping after work, when your feet are at their largest. You might gain a half size as you age as well, so your usual size from 10 years ago might not be your correct size today.

Some shoes are bad for your feet even if they fit properly. Wearing high heels frequently can cause damage to the bones of the foot. They're fine every once in a while, but you should find a comfortable pair of flat-soled sneakers for everyday wear.

You should also look for the right materials. Synthetics tend not to breathe well, trapping heat and moisture. Natural materials like leather and cotton will keep your feet cooler and release moisture; athletic shoes with special materials or mesh work even better. At the same time, though, you can't really avoid foot sweat. However, you can try to alternate your shoes, so that the pair you wore yesterday has a chance to dry out completely before you wear them again.

Keep your feet beauty!

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