Your feet should play an essential role in your 2021 plans. They are the anchor point for any weight loss, fitness, or wellness resolutions you have. This article will discuss some helpful tips from our experts to help you have a healthy and productive 2021.
Proper foot care and support is critical for your wellness
Your feet are the anchor for the rest of your activities. They are going to support you in all of your fitness, wellness, and weight loss goals. A 2017 study from Stanford University found that the use of our feet is heavily-dependent on which country we originate from. At the top of that list is Hong Kong, with an average of 6,900 steps per day. America is located right in the middle, with an average of 4,800 steps per day. Indonesia is at the very bottom of the list, with an average of 3,500 steps per day.
Whatever your country of origin, it doesn't change the fact that your feet are a crucial part of your life. Let's shuffle into 2021 with our five favorite foot care tips.
Tip #1: Gait Issues Lead to Knee and Hip Issues
Your feet have a natural roll to them as they go through the physical movements of your stride. Improperly supported feet may roll excessively in what is known as an "overpronation." In order to compensate for this excessive roll, your body pulls on the muscles around your foot, ankle, calf, knee, and thigh. These strains are a significant factor over time in knee and hip wear and tear. Manage your roll, and your knees and hips will thank you.
Solution: Use a mirror or a friend to check for overpronation by watching your feet from the back as you walk away. If your ankle pivots outwards to a fine point or you swing your legs back inwards after landing, you might have an overpronation. These can be corrected by adequately selecting a shoe to help compensate for the arch and weight distribution.
Tip #2: Cushion Your Feet on Hard Surfaces
Your feet are not designed to continually walk on hard surfaces like roads, sidewalks, and concrete pads. Our modern life, by contrast, is designed around these surfaces. When our feet repeatedly impact these surfaces without enough cushion, our bodies compensate by developing hard layers of skin and foot bones with extra thickness. As we age, these mechanisms can lead to a condition known as "Plantar Fasciitis."
Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that is characterized by extreme pain leading to difficulties walking and using your feet. The best treatment for this condition is avoidance. The second best treatment is switching to shoes with the right balance between cushion and support for your feet.
Solution: Make sure that the soles of your shoes have a fair amount of springiness and cushion to protect the impact of your feet. There is a balance between cushion and support that can alleviate the stresses in your feet. This balance will protect your feet from developing Plantar Fasciitis or help them recover by removing the stresses that caused it in the first place.
Tip #3: Your Feet Can Cause Leg and Back Pain
Everything in your body is connected, and your feet are the foundation. The vertebrae in your spinal cord are piled on top of each other like a stack of dishes. Issues in your feet can cause problems in your gait that spread to your knees, legs, and hips - causing your body to compensate and that "stack of dishes" in your back to become unbalanced and off-centered. While this is all quite common and normal (and your body was designed to adjust), prolonged compensation can result in leg pain or back pain or both!
This pain may be minor at first, but if left untreated can spread and get worse until you need medical intervention - and perhaps even surgery. Avoid all of this by taking care of your feet.
Solution: If you have knee, leg, or back issues, talk to your podiatrist as part of your medical care. Proper shoes can support your body with fluid motion that minimizes your body's stresses to relieve some types of leg and back pain.
Tip #4: Your Feet Can Cause Knee Pain
There are many different types of knee pain, but the kind that creeps up on you over time and that you "feel in your bones" can be caused by problems with your feet and is known as "osteoarthritis." As the human body ages over time, your joints start to show signs of repeated wear and tear. Untreated problems with your feet can cause accelerated wear resulting in issues in the knee joint itself. The best treatment for this type of pain is to avoid the most common cause of this problem - impact fatigue.
In the process of running, our feet, knees, legs, and back are subjected to repeated forceful impacts with the ground as our feet swing from front to back. The human body is well-designed to withstand these impacts for limited durations - even long ones like marathons. But when your feet are not adequately supported, your gait is abnormal, and your body receives repeated blows like this day after day, it wears down the cartilage in your knee joints and stresses the mesh of tendons and stabilizer muscles that keep your knee in place. Translation? Walking hard is terrible news!
Solution: Pay attention to the force of the impact of your feet when you walk. Do your feet slap the ground? Do the halls resonate when you are walking normally? Your podiatrist and the right selection of shoes can help alleviate the impact on your knee joints and stop the downward spiral of osteoarthritis.
Tip #5: Arch Support is Your Foundation
You are likely to take thousands of steps per day, and the key to proper weight distribution in your feet is arch support. Without that support, your feet compensate until that arch in the center of your foot flattens out - called "flat foot" or "fallen arch. That can lead to a wide array of unpleasant effects in your body, including foot strain, muscle strain, stance issues, foot swelling, movement problems, and gait issues.
Solution: Your podiatrist should be your first stop, but specialty shoe retailers offer analysis and consultation to help identify and correct arch support issues by selecting proper shoes with appropriate support for your anatomy.
A Healthy and Safe 2021
Our team here at Kybun would like to wish you a healthy and safe 2021! Come check out our stores (when safe and applicable), or chat with us online to help you find the right pair of shoes for your body. For over two decades, we have specialized in treating your feet and allowing your feet to treat the rest of your body.
We wish you all the strength and determination to achieve your fitness and weight loss goal in 2021.
Your Kybun Team