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Maintaning Healthy Feet

Maintaining healthy feet for walking

Keep on walking project
If you are going on a long walk, prepare well ahead. Take your shoes for a ‘trial walk’ and build up the distance gradually; don’t try to complete the London Marathon on your first trip! It’s also a good idea to pay a visit to your local HCPC-registered podiatrist who will be able to give advice, and treat any existing corns or callus you may have. Take some first aid supplies, like plasters or antiseptic cream, on your walking trip in case of accidents.

Begin your walk at a slower pace and gradually increase the speed of your walk. This will give the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments that make up your feet the chance to get used to the activity. If you experience any discomfort or foot pain, then it may be an indication that something more serious is wrong. We all know that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. In many cases, early diagnosis can prevent a small injury from becoming a larger one.

General tips to keep your feet feeling great

You can look after your feet easily by following these simple rules:

  • Condition yourself gradually with stretching exercises for round 15 minutes before starting any new activity and remember to cool down and stretch afterwards.
  • Wash your feet every day in warm soapy water, and dry thoroughly especially between the toes.
  • Always wear the correct shoes for each for of exercise and surface.
  • Wear only good-quality well fitting socks.
  • Trim toenails regularly with proper nail clippers. Cut them straight across, not too short and not down at the corners as this can lead to ingrowing toenails.
  • If you have dry skin applying moisturiser before going to bed will help keep your skin supple and more resistant to injury.

Exercises for tired feet

If your feet feel really tired after exercise, take it easy for 10 minutes and sit with them up Also perform the following three foot exercises whilst you have your feet up:

  1. Circle your feet ten times in each direction, keeping your legs as still as possible
  2. Consciously straighten your toes and wiggle them around
  3. Raise, point, then curl your toes for five seconds each, repeat ten times - this is particularly good for toe cramps.

If your feet continue to hurt see a podiatrist

To find a local HCPC registered  podiatrist, you can either approach your GP practice for an NHS referral, (in some areas you can self-refer) or if you decide to see a private practice podiatrist visit our Find a Podiatrist section

Further Reading: Foot Health