My-oh-my how 2016 flew by. The time has come to start making our New Year’s resolutions. A common resolution this time of year is to work on taking better care of our health. This is a wonderful idea, but as most people don’t think about foot health until they have a problem, may I suggest starting from the bottom up?

Feet do spend much of their time covered up, so it’s no surprise really that people often neglect their care, and are even unaware of their current condition. However, as any podiatrist would tell you, paying attention to the health of your feet is beneficial to you as a whole. Feet can help indicate what is going on with the rest of your body, from incorrect posture to improper blood circulation, and so on.

Here are seven resolutions you can make to maintain healthier feet in 2017:

1. Exercise

Many people don’t realize how much working out can impact their overall health- including the health of their feet. One of the simplest forms of exercise – walking- does wonders for helping to keep your feet in shape. Also, regular exercise will help you to lose weight (if you need to). Less weight will make for less stress on your feet. This is extra important for people who work on their feet all day or play sports.

2. Watch What You Eat

Everyone knows that what you eat affects your body, but often won’t think about the fact that their feet are included. For healthier feet, you should cut back on, or avoid foods that cause inflammation in the body.

3. Practice a Daily Foot Care Regimen

Each night before bed, clean your feet and apply moisturizer to help prevent dryness and cracking.

4. Stop Foot Pain

If you find that your feet are bothering you regularly, then it is time to give us a visit. In many cases, foot pain is caused by the interaction between your gait and your footwear. In fact, most non-impact foot and ankle injuries result from wearing the improper footwear consistently. Your best chance of relieving your pain and discomfort, and finding out just exactly what’s bothering you, is to visit one of our friendly foot doctors.

5. Change Your Athletic Shoes Every Six Months

Even the best athletic shoe will lose its ability to properly support your feet over time. If you continue to wear them after they have worn out you can throw off the alignment of your foot, and you put yourself at a greater risk for sports-related injuries. The cost of wearing old, worn out athletic shoes is much greater in the long run than it would be to just replace them every 300 to 500 miles- or every six months.

6. Limit High Heel and Flip-Flop Use

Both high heels and flip-flops can be harmful to your feet. When you wear flip-flops, you are offering no support for your foot, and the open design leaves your foot susceptible to injury and infections. High heels force your foot into a very unnatural position. This can damage the structure of the foot resulting in bunions, calluses, and corns, among other things. Wearing these things once in a while should be fine, but you should try and wear protective and supportive shoes most of the time.

7. Measure Your Feet

Many people are unknowingly wearing the wrong shoe size. In fact, it is estimated that up to 80 percent of foot problems come from wearing the wrong size shoe. Next time you are in the market for shoes have your foot measured to make sure you are buying the right size.

Unless we are experiencing foot pain, foot care is often overlooked. Following the above foot care resolutions can help prevent foot pain from occurring. However, should you be experiencing chronic foot pain, you should give Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle a call and schedule an appointment with one of our friendly foot doctors.

Our foot and ankle care doctors and surgeons are board-certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and are members of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association. Call (208) 855-5955 or request an appointment online.