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Stuffing your feet into thick socks and heavy boots isn't going to be good for them! Making sure that your feet are in tip-top condition is really important, especially through the winter months - and even more so if you're a little bit older.

Our feet are an oft-forgotten part of our anatomy, which is a real shame. Look after your feet and they'll be soft and supple - plus, you'll never feel too embarrassed to bare your feet in flip-flops through the summer months. As you get a little bit older, it's even more important to take good care of your feet as they'll help to keep you mobile well into your older years. Read on to learn how to take care of your feet to keep them in tip-top condition throughout the winter months and beyond - and what you need to watch out for in terms of foot care when you're a little bit older.

Keeping Clean

If you've had a long, hard day on your feet, make sure that you spend a few minutes at the end of each day looking after your feet and giving them a good old clean. Cleanse them with a gentle soap and pat dry, then work on them with a pumice stone, paying particular attention to the pressure points on your feet. Working on the pressure points will help to alleviate any aches and pains - especially useful if your feet are particularly aching. Once you've done that, rub a gentle foot cream into the feet. Choose a cream that contains peppermint or menthol as both are very soothing - particularly useful if your feet are a little bit swollen or inflamed. Choose a product specifically designed for feet and make sure that it is fully absorbed before putting socks on.

Soft and Supple

One of the easiest ways to keep your tootsies in tip-top condition is to drink plenty of water. We say this over and over again, but it is so, so important for good health and for good skin.

Generally, it's recommended that you drink at least 8 cups of water per day (fizzy drinks don't count) as this not only helps to keep you hydrated, but also helps to flush out any toxins - really important if your feet are a little bit swollen.

 It's also a good idea to up your intake of omega-3s and fish oils. They help to keep you soft and supple from the inside out, and not only are they essential for hydration, but also for good health. Try to eat more sources of omega-3s, such as oily fish, nuts and flaxseed, but if this isn't possible, consider adding a fish oil supplement to your diet instead.

Choosing the Right Footwear

It sounds obvious, but if you're wearing shoes that don't fit properly, you could succumb to ingrown toenails, corns, bunions and even broken bones in your feet. As you age, your feet can also get bigger - so make sure that you're wearing the right size shoe on each foot and get measured if you're unsure. Some people have to wear different-sized shoes on either foot, so keep that in mind!

Looking After Your Feet As You Get Older

Footcare becomes even more important when you move into your 60s and for anyone with an illness such as diabetes or varicose veins. Diabetes can cause numbness in the feet and if an infection sets in, patients often experience no symptoms as their feet are numb - and this can mean that the infection spreads quickly and this is why a huge number of patients with diabetes end up having to have their foot or feet amputated. It's generally recommended that patients who do have diabetes or varicose veins book a regular appointment with a chiropodist or their GP just to make sure that their feet are in good health - but there are a number of things that you can do at home to ensure that your feet are in good condition.

  • Try to maintain a healthy weight. Too much weight, especially as you get older, exerts a huge amount of pressure on your knees, joints and feet. The more you weigh, the worse your feet will fare - plus, if you're not particularly mobile, you'll find it really difficult to keep your feet and toes healthy, so it's important to maintain your weight so that you can stay on your feet.
  • Keep as mobile as you can. Try to avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time as this can cause fluid to pool in your feet. If you do find it difficult to walk around, make sure you spend at least a few minutes each day circling your ankles and curling your toes back and forth.
  • Don't cross your legs whilst sitting down.
  • If your doctor advises you to, make sure that you wear support stockings - they can mean the difference between life and death in a number of cases, so it's really important that you wear them on the advice of your doctor. 
  • If you're ever concerned about the health of your feet, see your doctor.  If you're not mobile or if you're not able to take a look at your feet yourself, make sure that you ask someone to help or have regular foot checkups.

Give Your Feet a Rest

Many of us wear high heels, and although they are beautiful, they can be really detrimental to the health of your feet - especially if you wear them every single day. Give your feet a rest every other day in soft, supportive and flat shoes. If you absolutely have to wear them everyday, make sure that you take them off as soon as you get home and swap them for some comfy slippers. Alternatively, carry a pair of flats in your bag and switch your high heels over as soon as you get out of the office. 

High heels can cause bunions and corns - but they can even cause broken bones so it's really important that you don't wear them constantly.

Following our tips will keep your feet in tip-top condition - but if you're ever concerned, see your doctor.

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