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Foot Health for the Holiday Season

They say “tis the season to be jolly” are your feet there? In this time of hustle and fanfare many of us neglect to focus on the signals our bodies are sending out, especially our feet. Why we choose to NOT have happy feet is anyone’s guess!

We start off shopping for curtains “early,” then the gifts for family, friends, church group gift exchange, the office angels and earthlings exchange, and of course most important – gifts for the kids…not forgetting nieces, nephews and godchildren cause Christmas is basically for and all about children; they give it that extra special touch. Next on the agenda are the clothes and shoes stores, for those impressive outfits and accessories to make that grand appearance at staff and other Christmas parties. Those shoes…wow… ranging from 3 ½ to 5 inch heels, that in our opinion just put the final touch to our look. The last three items on the agenda are supermarket shopping, the Christmas cleaning/decorating of the home, and the baking/cooking.

Are you exhausted yet…just reading and remembering all that still has to be done? …Imagine your feet!

Foot Fatigue and More
As we embark on our annual holiday shopping marathons, most of us grudgingly accept the inevitability that our wallets will shrink, feet may be affected, and both will be hurting before the season is over. Foot health experts have also acknowledged that shopping is one of the most stressful forms of walking for our feet. When you shop, you are walking slowly, and stopping frequently to browse, so the blood flow to and from your feet is more limited during this slow pace of walking, as opposed to a faster pace, which will increase the circulation. The end result is the likelihood of foot fatigue and swelling.
As usual, the use of improper foot wear too could cause common ailments such as blisters, corns, calluses, heel pain, or worse – making you aware of a heel spur you didn’t realise before. If you’ve been following my columns, in the event you haven’t experienced any of these problems before, you don’t want to go there!

 Helpful Tips to Minimise Discomfort
While shrinking wallets may in fact be inevitable, there are ways to avoid swollen and aching feet. . Here are some tips to make you more comfortable:
For the Shop-a-holics – While running from store to store, standing in ridiculous lines and holding lots of load; please ensure it’s done in comfort. This is not the time to want to look cute in high heels or wedges. Flip flops isn’t a good opinion either. Get a pair of padded sandals/shoes and if this is proving to be difficult, purchase a pair of insoles or arch supports (especially for those who already suffer with problems).
Party Animals – Besides our company Christmas dinner, many persons live to accompany friends or family to their Christmas functions, and let’s not talk about the numerous Christmas and Boxing Night parties thrown by the various promotion groups. We love to mingle…have a great time. But while I may agree that there is nothing like a cocktail dress with coordinated coloured 3 ½ – 4” heels, the after effects can be something else! Think wisely before selecting such. Men, the shoes you wear are equally important; please ensure there are proper insoles; if not, be sure to purchase a pair of good quality ones. So by all means mingle this season, but let comfort be the literal bottom line.
Holiday Travelers – A number of people travel for the season – in some instances to experience a white Christmas, or conversely, return home for a Trini Christmas. However, with travelling comes loads of walking.

Travel Tips
When travelling by plane, follow these tips to protect your back and feet.
• Airport requirements are that shoes be removed for security checks. Remember to wear shoes with socks to avoid walking barefooted and contracting bacteria.
• Walk about at intervals during flights to ensure proper blood flow in the legs and feet. Do rolling and pointing exercises of the feet to further promote circulation.
• Rent trolleys to carry around your luggage, since logging around these heavy pieces causes pain and discomfort to both the back and feet.

Home Treatment

Soak your feet at the end of your shopping, travelling or working day. You deserve it.

• Dissolve Epsom salts, regular table salts, or any appropriate soaking crystals in warm water and soak for 15 minutes.
• Generously cream with a nice peppermint lotion for the final soothing feel. (Not between the toes).
• Elevate your feet while relaxing, or at bedtime, to reduce swelling and improve circulation.
Taking basic precautions ensures that you experience a season filled with good health, strength and merriment. If you overdo it, you feet would certainly let you know. So let good sense prevail! You’re also free to check us for general maintenance to keep you in shape; we’ll be more than happy to indulge you. . .
Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!

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