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There are endless sayings that involve feet. Keep your feet planted on the ground, he’s got cold feet, I’m dragging my feet and the list goes on. Never mind that the distance of your feet to your heart is fairly sizeable, your feet are extremely important in your overall health. We might consider foot pain a part of normal, everyday life, but we shouldn’t! Feet have a very important and taxing job and it’s no wonder “our dogs are barking” at the end of the day considering the amount of effort we demand of them. From standing daily at a job, exercising, improper shoes to common conditions that affect the skin and tissues, our feet can really take a beating.

You may not have ever stopped to consider it, but the fact is that our quality of life is directly related to our ability to be self-sufficient. Any sort of injury, pain or skin damage associated with our feet denies us the full ability to be as active as we want to be and that, in turn, can affect our whole body. The poorer our foot health, the less likely we are to engage in physical activity. In time, the reduction of movement will negatively affect your strength, endurance, muscle mass and even brain function, therefore greatly increasing the risk of health problems and diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

There are a number of actions you can take to ensure you stay “one step ahead” of your overall foot health.

1) Use the services of a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic to check your gait along with head-to-toe body alignment. Simply put, a body that is out of alignment is not able to function properly on all levels.

2) Practice simple foot and ankle mobility exercises along with massage (even rolling your foot on a tennis ball can work wonders), as they are great ways to help counteract the abuse of the day.

3) Go barefoot when you can and allow your bones to move with fluidity.

4) Limit time wearing high heels and flip-flops.

5) Cut toenails straight across so as to avoid ingrown toenails.

6) Beware communal, public areas such as locker rooms, pools and hotel showers in order to avoid fungal infections. (This is the one time flip-flops are actually a good idea.)

7) Wash and dry your feet well. Occasionally use a foot file to smooth calluses and regularly moisturize to keep skin soft.

Remember that it’s not natural for your feet to hurt. If your daily care is on task and you still experience unusual or uncomfortable effects, seek medical care to help uncover any potential health issues and you’ll have the “world at your feet”.