The homestead lifestyle can sometimes be hard on one’s feet. Heck, our poor feet have the burden of carrying around our monstrous bodies all day. That’s a lot of work for two little appendages! Although we may take these amazing little guys for granted, it’s important to realize all the work they do for us. Without feet, we wouldn’t be able to balance standing upright, which would limit most of the things we do in a day. This is why it’s important to give your feet the pampering they deserve. Here are five simple ways to keep your feet healthy and happy, keeping them in great shape so they’re ready when you need them to be!
1. Pamper, Pamper, Pamper
After a long day on your feet, they may feel exhausted and need some replenishing. Give them a break by pouring yourself a foot bath—and don’t skimp on this either! Fill a basin with warm water and about one cup of Epsom salts. Adding a cup of this salt to your bathwater has many benefits. Most notably, it will replenish any magnesium your body that has been lost due to stress through the skin of your feet! This magnesium will reduce any swelling or inflammation that you notice in your feet after a hard day of work. Be sure to soak your feet for at least fifteen minutes so they have time to rest and soak up all of this magnesium-enriched goodness!
Once you have soaked your feet, make sure you do a thorough cleaning. Whether your feet have been in your shoes all day or in direct contact with the ground, it’s likely they have picked up a lot of bacteria. Do a thorough clean, scrubbing in between your toes and cleaning out under each toenail. Although this may seem tedious, it will leave you feeling fresh and pampered. Invest in a pumice stone and small nailbrush to make sure you reach all the cracks and crevasses. If you don’t spend enough time cleaning your feet properly, they become a breeding ground for bacteria! Bacteria are gross enough, but it’s usually accompanied by odor. So to keep stinky, bacteria-ridden feet at bay, make sure you do a proper foot scrub at least once every two weeks. After a footbath, apply a natural oil such as lavender or bio oil to your feet and keep them off the ground for a while to allow the oil to soak in.
The age-old saying “you are what you eat” may have stuck around for a reason. So maybe you won’t turn into a carrot if you stick to an all-carrot diet, but you will boast the benefits of all of the vitamins they contain! Ingesting certain foods and liquids will provide vitamins that are healthy for the outside of your body—including your feet. Just like the rest of your body, hydration is key in keeping feet soft, supple, and healthy. Although lotions and oils are a great addition to skin care routines, it’s important to hydrate from the inside of your body. Drinking lots of water will provide moisture to your cells, keeping them lubricated and efficient. Make sure that the rest of your diet contains the essential fats that help to moisturize your skin as well.
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If you spend a lot of time on your feet, which most of us do, it’s important to make sure that the surface that cushions them all day is appropriate for your foot type. The best way to do this is to get to know your feet. People apply most of their pressure to different areas of their foot depending on their walking patterns. Take a glance at some old shoes and note where they are most worn down. If you aren’t sure from your shoes where the wear seems to happen most, dip your foot in a tub of water, then place it on a piece of paper to get a more accurate vision of your footprint.
If your footprint is fairly even looking, with a long arch down the outside and a small gap in the middle, your feet are probably fairly normal! This means that you can get away with wearing a stability shoe. Stability shoes provide the proper amount of support for people who distribute their weight evenly across their feet. If you see most of the wear and tear on the inside edge of your shoe, it means that you put most of your weight here. This means you should look for a motion-control shoe. If your footprint is only a wee little line on the outside of your foot, you have high arches and put most of your support on the outside of your foot and baby toe. This means you really need to invest in a pair of shoes that are considered neutral without stability methods.
Make sure that your shoes are the proper size for your feet. Your feet can grow or shrink even when you think they have stopped, so it’s important to pay attention to any pain your shoes may be making you experience! The next time you go to buy shoes, have a proper measurement taken at the store.
It’s important to make sure that you’re covering your feet with good-quality socks. Because our feet spend all day cramped up in layers of material, we want to make sure that it’s the cleanest and best material possible! Bacteria and fungus can grow on feet that get too sweaty, leading to conditions such as athlete’s foot. The best socks possible are ones that allow your feet the most oxygen. Look for socks of organic material—you will be surprised at the collection! They range from cotton to bamboo. Don’t forget to let your feet breathe. Letting feet breathe is another important factor in deterring odor and bacteria.
With these five simple steps you can help your feet to health. With a weekly footbath and proper care in between the toes, your feet will smell fabulous. Within a few weeks of wearing proper shoes, you’ll probably notice an increase in your balance and stamina. Remember, healthy bodies need healthy soles!
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