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Your legs do more work on a regular day than most other parts of your body. When your legs are in good shape, meeting your routine mobility goals are easy and don’t require a second thought. In this article we'll provide some ideas on how to take care of your legs and feet
Your feet support your body weight and allow you to stand, walk, move, stay in balance and contribute to a stable skeletal structure. On average, humans spend 80% of their waking hours walking, moving, or otherwise on their feet.
Habits that don’t do your feet any favors
Poor feet hygiene
Not enough focus on keeping your feet clean and dry can lead to Athlete’s Foot, a fungal infection that starts between the toes. You may first notice tiny blisters on your feet, which then turn into a scaly rash that burns, stings and itches.
How to avoid Athlete’s Foot:
- Change your socks often
- Wear cotton socks that absorb moisture
- Protect your feet in public places: around swimming pools, and in public showers and on locker room floors
- Don’t wear the same pair of shoes all the time
Wearing ill-fitting shoes/Skipping socks
The skin on your feet protects itself against pressure and friction by developing thick, hard layers. Corns develop on the tops and sides of your toes, or even between them. Calluses usually develop on the soles of the feet. In severe cases, a corn or callus can become painful and inflamed, and turn into an ulcer.
How to prevent corns and calluses:
- Make sure you wear socks with shoes to reduce friction on your feet
- Ensure that the socks fit well
- Wear shoes that are neither tight nor loose
You can also use a foot file to remove hard skin.
Prolonged and frequent standing
Standing continuously for many hours can make blood pool in your legs and cause your body to experience muscle fatigue. Over time, it can lead to an inflammation of the veins, and progress to painful varicose veins.
Prolonged standing can also affect your posture and cause calluses. Besides the discomfort you may start feeling after remaining on your feet in one position, you may also find that your legs and/or feet have swollen.
What you can do instead:
- Aim not to spend more than four hours a day standing
- Take breaks between standing, sitting and moving around
- Maintain a firm, comfortable standing posture
- Wear quality shoes and socks that protect and cushion your feet
- Stand in warmer rather than colder areas to ensure blood circulation isn’t affected
Treat your legs and feet to a massage every now and then. They will relax tense muscles, improve circulation to the feet, and promote an increase in oxygen flow throughout your body.