Did you know that by the time we reach age 50 the average person has taken enough steps to equal walking around the entire world three times?

No wonder our feet are tired! After all these years of faithful service, our feet need extra love and care. Check out these 7 tips to maintain healthy, happy feet.

Indulge in a Relaxing Foot Soak

Simply add 1/2 cup Epsom salt or a few drops of essential oils to a gallon of warm water. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes, then dry gently with a fluffy towel. Be sure to dry especially well between your toes.

Pamper Your Skin

As we age, the skin on our feet becomes thinner and drier. After a shower or bath, treat your feet to a massage with your favorite lotion or cream. Avoid leaving lotion between your toes as this can promote the growth of fungal infections.

For rough patches, try an exfoliating foot scrub. You can also apply a thick lubricating cream at bedtime, then sleep with cotton socks on your feet. If you wear sandals, remember to use sunscreen on the tops of your feet.

Take Good Care of Your Nails

Keep toenails trimmed so the edges are even with the tips of the toes. Nails become drier and more brittle as we age, so they’re usually easier to trim after softening in a foot soak. Trim straight across to help prevent ingrown toenails.

Wear the Correct Shoes

Years of fashionable high heels and pointy-toed shoes eventually catch up with us. The result can be corns, bunions, curled toes or other painful problems. Now is the time to look for shoes that provide comfort and good support.

As we get older, our feet become wider and a bit longer, so double-check your size before buying new shoes. It’s also a good idea to shop for shoes in the evening as our feet tend to swell a bit as the day goes on.

Keep an Eye on Your Feet

Examine your feet regularly and look for changes such as blisters, cracks, growths or signs of a fungal infection, i.e., rash, itching, peeling skin or thickened/yellowed toenails. A small hand mirror is helpful to see your feet from all angles.

Contact your medical provider if you see signs of infection or slow healing. If you have diabetes, poor circulation or other medical conditions affecting your feet, you may require a special foot care routine. Please consult with your medical provider.

Enjoy Your Exercise Routine

As we age, our feet continue to benefit from exercise to maintain strength, flexibility and good circulation. Strong feet also promote proper balance that helps prevent falls.

The bones and joints in our feet are more prone to injury as we grow older. Keep up your exercise habit, but consider adjusting your routine to include lower-impact exercises.

Never Ignore Pain

Despite all we’ve put our feet through over the years, they shouldn’t need to hurt. Sore feet aren’t a normal part of aging.

Women tend to ignore foot pain and hope it goes away on its own. However, delaying medical care often makes treatment more difficult. If you’re experiencing foot pain, see your primary medical provider, a podiatrist or a physical therapist.

What do you do to look after the health of your feet? Please share any tips in the comments section below.

Diane LansingDiane Lansing, RN, enjoys working part-time as a corporate wellness nurse. She has over 25 years of experience in geriatric nursing, and her passion is working with residents of memory care units. She loves volunteering at nursing homes and blogs about her experiences at NursingHomeVolunteer.com.

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