Taking care of our feet is something that many of us overlook on a daily, monthly and even yearly basis. Pampering your feet doesn’t mean getting a pedicure every two weeks (although, that would be nice!), nor does it mean you should only take care of them during the warmer months. Our feet need TLC all the time. After all, they carry us throughout our entire lives and if we don’t take care of them properly – they can take a beating!If you’ve been neglecting your feet for quite some time now, it’s time to make pampering your feet a priority, or better yet, a New Year’s resolution! Your feet will thank you.
Make Them Stronger
Even though it’s the sturdiest part of the human body, everyone can afford to strengthen their feet. Strengthening the muscles in your feet can help prevent heel pain and foot cramps that we start to experience, as we get older. Make it a routine after every shower by standing barefoot on a wooden or tile floor. Before you throw your used towel in the hamper, place it in on the floor in front of you and place its edge underneath your toes. Put your toes to work by scrunching them up to grip the towel and then releasing. This method is working if the towel is being pulled towards you in which you should continue until most of the towel is underneath your toes. Complete the exercise by reversing the motion to push the towel away from your toes. At this point, you should be able to execute the set one more time. As you continue strengthening your muscles, you will eventually get to a point where you can do it a few times over. However, strengthening does not come without stretching, so make sure you are stretching your foot muscles by rolling a tennis or golf ball under your bare foot at the conclusion of each exercise.
If you are heeding our advice and working out your feet, it’s an absolute must to rub out of the kinks. And besides, who doesn’t love a good massage? To prevent your hands from getting tired, be sure to use plenty of lotion when you start. The key to giving yourself a great foot massage is going slow! Use long stroking motions by massaging the sole of one foot with both thumbs, starting behind the toes and applying pressure toward the heel. To squeeze out extra tension, apply extra pressure along the arch and at the ball of the foot. Once you’re done giving yourself a rub down, the finishing touch involves gripping the foot with both hands and carefully twisting your hands from side to side. Give your toes some extra love by pulling and releasing each toe with two fingers. Repeat the process on the other foot.
Soak it up
Although you clean your feet everyday in the shower, it certainly isn’t enough to reduce the swelling that accompanies being on your feet all day, or worse, wearing uncomfortable shoes! Look up your favorite smelling mixture or consult your local spa for foot soak products. Depending on where you go to get your information, directions for a foot soak may vary. However, a general rule of thumb is to submerge your feet into a bowl of warm water and add the soak mixture or bath salts of your choice. Let your feet sit there for 5-10 minutes and dry with a towel.
Scrub, Scrub, Scrub
Treated as the finishing touch of a foot soak, or perhaps included in the actual soak itself, exfoliating your feet is just as important as exfoliating the skin on your face. It also helps to remove any dead skin that the soak didn’t pick up. Check out a DIY version online or consult your favorite spa for trusted products.
Smooth Out the Rough Spots
Everyone’s least favorite part of tending to their feet – getting rid of calluses! While it might be a pain, or ticklish for some of us, it’s important if you want your feet to look and feel as good as new. By loosening up the dead skin beforehand with a foot soak and scrub, it will be easier to remove those unsightly calluses with a file. Gently move the file in a back-and-forth motion to safely remove these rough spots.
Do not assume that the lotion you used on your feet during your foot massage will stay on after the aforesaid methods. As you’ve noticed, feet dry out quickly and need consistent moisturizing. Furthermore, any lotion won’t do! Pick out a cream that is specifically designed for moisturizing feet as they are formulated with ingredients that give it a thicker consistency to provide extensive moisture. There are tons of products out there, so be sure to use something that doesn’t irritate your skin! Always test a new product on a small patch of skin before applying it as you normally would. Lastly, some foot creams are geared towards mitigating calluses and hardened heels, so look for a special formula if that describes your feet.
Wear the Right Shoes
We can’t say this enough! Most of the time, our feet problems are derived from wearing ill-fitting shoes. If you are constantly dealing with calluses, blisters, ingrown toe nails and more, then it’s time buy a new pair of shoes that aren’t too tight, or too loose. Make sure your feet are dry before putting on shoes each day to avoid fungal infections and wear socks or sock skimmers when possible.
Last but not least, wear slippers! What better way to say “I Love You” to your feet than to wear a comfortable, properly fitting pair of slippers! We don’t have to educate you on the vast options of slippers available, but we can attest to the fact that it really makes a difference after a long, hard day!