How important are your feet to you? After all, we use them to walk, run, stand, kick, ride a bike…, I’m sure you get the point. But do you truly think about the overall health of your feet? Combined, your feet contain more than 50 bones (accounting for about one-fourth of all the bones in your body !), more than 60 joints and 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold them together and help them move. Proper foot care can prevent the development of numerous foot problems, and for some individuals may save their legs from amputation.
Many different activities cause stress to our little toes. A simple walk on a nice spring day is excellent for exercise, but we must also consider that it is adding hundreds of pounds on our feet. Then there’s the case of personal style. Many women force their foot into a pair of heels, that are only going to be brutal, but they had to have them. In almost every shoe from sandals, to flip-flops, to boots you will notice that there may be some inner arch support. However, most do not have outer arch support or support for the arch under the ball of the foot. Each foot has three arches: one on the inside of the foot, one on the outside and one across the ball of the foot. These arches are all important and must all be functioning properly to facilitate healthy movement and weight-bearing.
Unfortunately, some of us naturally have bad feet. Flat feet or excessively pronating feet run in families. Parents pass it on to their children. If one parent has flat or collapsed arches, their children will have it also to some degree. If both parents have overpronated feet, their kids will absolutely have flat feet as well.
People with healthier feet usually appear taller and have improved posture. Circulation and balance, along with reduced risks for other foot conditions are also additional benefits. You should never ignore the signs that you may be having foot problems. If you can’t walk comfortably, you’re more likely to stop being physically active, which can reduce your quality of life. In addition, many common life-threatening diseases, from heart disease to some forms of cancer, are associated with a sedentary lifestyle. If you experience any difficulties in walking doing your normal daily routines, or experience any discomfort after a mild workout, be sure to consult a podiatrist.