August is National Wellness Month, a time for self-care, creating healthy routines, and managing stress.
As runners and fitness devotees, we might think we’re already on the wellness bandwagon, but wellness is more than just physical fitness. When you factor in self-care, coping with stress and healthy routines — other than workouts —we’re in the trenches more than you think.
What does all this have to do with our feet? Foot care is essential to our physical health — we’ll cover that in a moment. Prioritizing foot care involves self-care and creating healthy routines – two pillars of overall wellness.
And the best part? improving wellness in one area of your life, like foot care, can have a ripple effect into other areas of your life! So let’s tiptoe in.
Focus on Your Feet
Why are healthy feet important? With each step, we place two to three times the force of our body weight onto our feet, according to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle SocietyⓇ. So, it’s safe to say we rely on our feet quite a bit. And, given that our feet are so far from our hearts, it can be a challenging journey for the blood to carry much-needed oxygen and nutrients to our feet. Caring for our feet helps them recover from everyday wear and tear and assists our body’s natural efforts to sustain them. Caring for our feet has mental and emotional benefits as well!
Here are some simple foot treatments that lead to better wellness for our minds and bodies:
Regular foot massages are great for our feet themselves, but also reduces stress and improves our overall moods. How? Massages activate your nervous system, which increases feel-good brain chemicals like endorphins. You can start a healthy stress-relief routine with this DIY foot massage, great for pre or post-workout regimens, or anytime you’re able to kick off your shoes for a bout of relief.
As runners we’re widely aware of the importance of stretching as a healthy routine. But we’re often so focused on our quads and hamstrings that we neglect our feet and ankles. Just like any other muscle group, keeping your feet flexible helps avoid injury and relieve pain. Before and after your next run, do a few cycles of pointing, curling, and spreading your toes to give them a good warm-up and cool down. And speaking of healthy routines, consider these yoga poses as part of your post-run stretch as well.
Soak & Scrub
A good soak and scrub of the feet not only feels great but helps prevent a handful of conditions. It prevents chronic odor and removes dry, dead skin which, if left untreated, leads to cracks, fungus, and infections that cause pain or limit activity. Pick up a pumice stone and some good quality foot cream during your next trip to the drug store. After a nice soak and scrub, wrap your feet in some therapeutic socks. You’ll notice smooth, healthier looking (and smelling!) feet almost immediately after starting this wellness routine.
Air them Out!
Keeping your feet cooped up on the regular can lead to pesky fungus or infection. The best socks for humidity have moisture-wicking technology and breathability to help your feet stay cool during a workout. And for self-care after the workout, taking a stroll barefoot through the grass or the beach is a great way to air out your feet while connecting your body to nature, which is known to induce relaxation and endorphin release.
Wear the Right Stuff
With our feet taking the brunt of our physical activity, a critical self-care action is choosing the best gear to support and protect them! Especially for runners, wearing the wrong shoes and socks lead to injuries and bodily conditions that limit our mobility. Feetures is America’s #1 running sock brand. We’ve reinvented the sock with technology that puts comfort, durability, and proper fit into all our socks. And because quality footwear is important all the time, we produce socks for everyday wear, active wear, and relief and recovery.
Put Your Feet First
Taking time to care for your feet gives an opportunity to check for issues that could harm your physical health and mobility — like cracked skin, infected toenails. etc. Moreover, it creates healthy self-care routines and reduces stress. Incorporating the right footwear is a simple place to start. From there, make time for massaging, soaking and scrubbing, stretching, and airing out your feet on a regular basis to improve your physical health and overall wellness.