7 Foot-Health Tips for Summer Fun
Warmer weather is upon us and the bright days are here to stay, making it the perfect time to kick off your shoes and relax! But before you begin running barefoot and free, it’s important to remember that being careless about your feet can get your toes into hot water, even when you’re far from the beach. Be sure to keep your feet and your whole body feeling their best all season long with these seven foot-health tips for summer fun.
1. Wear Appropriate Shoes
Although it might be tempting to head outside and feel grass between your toes, we recommend wearing well-fitting shoes regardless of the weather or season. Not only does your favorite pair look great, they also provide much-needed support, protect from dirt and injury, and prevent infections.
Remember, shoes aren’t solely meant to be worn on land! While we don’t recommend taking a pair of sneakers for a dip, a good pair of water shoes can help keep your feet safe from rocks, glass, and broken shells, all while providing additional support.
Don’t believe us? CPMA member, Dr. Jeeten Singha’s biggest secret for great foot health is sturdy, well-fitting shoes:
2. Don’t Skip the Sunblock
Sensitivity to the sun doesn’t stop at your ankles, so be sure to use a high enough SPF sunscreen on your entire body. That way when you hit the water or take off your shoes to rest, you know you’re protected. This is especially important as your feet are often the most exposed parts of your body during the warmer months. While you’re at it, don’t forget to reapply!
3. Fight Fungal Infections
Although you should wear shoes when out and about, we don’t recommend keeping them on 24/7. With warmer weather comes sweatier feet, which can lead to frustrating fungal infections. The best way to combat infections is to pop off your shoes and socks and expose your feet to air for short periods. Changing out of wet and sweaty pairs can also keep your feet dry and fungus free.
If you are heading to public areas, like swimming pools, gyms, and beaches, stay wary of communal showers as foot fungus and warts can easily spread in these locations. If you have any cuts or injuries, cover these problems securely to avoid infection.
4. Tread Carefully with Flip Flops
Although ubiquitous at the beach, flip flops can cause problems when worn for extended periods of time. Most thong sandals don’t provide the required support or the necessary fit to stay securely on your feet. After prolonged periods, they can cause blisters and pain on the arches or the balls of your feet. Additionally, you may be more likely to slip or fall due to the lack of stability that comes with backless sandals.
5. Keep the Blood Flowing
Poor circulation can cause numbness and tingling and, as it progresses, it can weaken the skin and toenails, even leading to slower-healing wounds. Avoiding these complications and other exercise-related injuries is as easy as periodically flexing your ankles and toes and stretching out your calves and quads. Not only do you increase circulation, but you also limber up your muscles to stay prepared for whatever the day might bring.
Whether you spend your days with your toes in the sand or shoed and moving, your feet can benefit from a moisturizing routine. Cracked, dry feet can be uncomfortable, unattractive, and may even lead to infections in the most serious cases.
Moisturizing regularly can help prevent these problems while rehydrating the skin. This creates a barrier of natural moisture and oils, which can deter fungus and other irritants.
7. Visit a Podiatrist
In the end, whatever you plan to do this summer, it’s the perfect time to visit your podiatrist. Podiatric professionals have the knowledge, skill, and training to treat any existing conditions you may already have and help you prevent future problems. They can also help you find the best equipment and stretches for new athletic endeavors or for your preferred type of vacation. CPMA podiatrists are leaders in our field of medicine and always ready to provide the highest level of care. Reach out to one today!