Leading health professionals from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow have called for people to get to know their feet better to prevent future complications and enable healthy, active lifestyles.
The experts from the College's Faculty of Podiatric Medicine say the daily role your feet play in enabling you to walk, play sport, run for the bus, stand at a concert, and so on, can go largely unnoticed. However, when foot pain or changes to your feet happen, the impact on your lifestyle can be dramatic.
The Faculty's Director of Communications, Matt Fitzpatrick, says, "Fit feet are essential for active living – they are a lifeline that enable people of all ages to keep mobile and independent. We know the importance of physical activity for preventing a range of medical conditions including obesity and diabetes. If you are unable to be active because of painful feet, it can have serious implications for your health."
Matt will be the lead podiatrist at the medical tent at the finish line of the London marathon on Sunday and expects to treat many sore, blistered feet. He says we need to start thinking about our feet differently and that prevention is better than cure.
"When you think teeth, you think dentist, and we all know the importance of regular dental check-ups for good dental health. When you think feet, you think podiatrist, but people generally wait to see a podiatrist until they are already in pain or suffering. I advise people, especially very active and elderly people, to consider a visit to a podiatrist every 12 or 18 months so that any potential issues can be picked up early."
Top Tips for healthy feet
- Check your feet every day – they may be a long way down but are important for day to day activities
- Change your shoes – avoid wearing the same shoes every day
- Afternoon shoe shopping – your feet swell during the day so afternoon shopping is best to ensure the correct fit
- Dry between your toes
- Change your socks – sweaty feet are not necessarily a bad thing as long as they are kept clean and socks are changed regularly
- Tidy toenails – toenails should be trimmed in a straight line
- Seek professional advice – if you are in any doubt about your feet, don't wait to seek professional help
Get involved with the Feet for Life campaign by downloading our fit feet infographics and sharing them on social media. Please use the hashtag #feetforlife
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