Physical Fitness Well-Being and Care Feet Part 2

About physical fitness, medical information, trivia, anatomy, well-being and care of your feet.

TAKING A PHYSICAL--HEAD TO TOE

FEET

Standing in one spot is far more tiring than walking. The reason for this is that in standing there is a constant demand on the same muscles. In walking or running, however, your weight is more equitably distributed among the 20 muscles in each of your feet and the 13 in each leg above the feet.

Next time you have to stand for a long period of time while watching a parade or riding in a crowded subway, try rolling your feet out, with toes straight ahead, and standing on the outer side of your feet. This brings more muscles into play. You'll find you are much less tired when you arrive home.

It is not uncommon for excessive foot perspiration and odor to be traced to allergies. Some people's feet are sensitive to chemicals used in the construction of shoes. In the U.S., there are several companies which manufacture hypoallergenic shoes. Podiatrists can provide you with the addresses of these manufacturers.

Corns and calluses are never normal. They are indications that you could benefit from foot alignment or more careful choice of shoes.

An ingrown toenail indicates misaligned feet. Pressure is being exerted on your toe in a way that causes the flesh to grow abnormally around the toenail.

The skin on the soles of your feet is thicker than the skin anywhere else on your body.

Besides corns and calluses, the most common foot problems are warts, blisters, athlete's foot, and fissures.

Fissures are breaks in the skin between the toes. These are often treated by painting the affected areas with tincture of benzoin, commonly sold in drug stores, without prescription, as an inhalant. Cornstarch dusted between the toes also helps keep fissures dry until they can heal.

Foot warts are caused by a virus, but one becomes more susceptible to this virus during times of stress. If you deliberately visualize a wart disappearing, off and on over a period of days, you will be amazed to find how frequently your wart will vanish.

Socks made of artificial substances such as nylons and polyesters tend to make your feet perspire. The most absorbent materials are wool and cotton.

A tip on buying shoes: Shop late in the day, when your feet are tired and sensitive. You're more likely to be discriminating about the fit you get under these circumstances.

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