If one of your resolutions included taking up salsa dancing, treating yourself to a pair of Jimmy Choos, finally learning to ice skate, or anything else that might be hard on your feet, the American Podiatric Medical Association has some advice on how to be kind to your feet.
· Stretch and massage your tootsies to help alleviate some of the pain and stiffness caused by long hours on your feet.
· Put your feet up. Elevating your legs above heart level eases swelling in the feet and legs.
· Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Cold, harsh weather can leave feet, especially heels, dry and cracked. Use a hydrating lotion or cream to repair and soothe rough, irritated, dry skin.
· The right footwear is key. Choose footwear appropriate for the weather (and the activity) in order to avoid foot and ankle sprains, breaks or blisters.
· If you must wear high heels, limit the heel height to two inches or less. If you plan on wearing heels at a party, try to wear sensible, weather-appropriate shoes to and from the event.
· When shopping for winter boots look for ones with adequate tread to reduce the risk of slipping on icy walkways. Boots made with leather or natural fibers help absorb moisture and keep your feet dry and odor-free.
· Pay attention to your socks. Look for poly-cotton blends, and keep your feet warm and well insulated in cold weather. If you have diabetes or other medical conditions that cause decreased circulation take extra care to properly insulate your feet.
Contact a podiatric physician if you do experience a foot or ankle injury. Find one in your area by visiting the Association’s web site at www.apma.org/findapodiatrist.