Saturday, June 25, 2011

One Step Ahead

The summer is a time to show off your summer glow – and this time of year there is no excuse not to make sure every part of you is looking its best. While you may exfoliate and moisturize as part of your bathing routine, do you remember to include your feet? It is recommended that we take 10,000 steps each day, which takes its toll on our soles. The feet do not have any oil glands to soften them which often causes dry and cracked skin.

Good foot care is important to keep rough dead skin and calluses under control. After bathing, while feet are still damp, use a pumice stone or an abrasive foot scrub to remove the dead and rough skin. You should moisturize daily to keep skin nourished and soft.

A footbath is also good relaxation technique after a hard day’s work. Put a handful of children’s marbles in a foot spa and roll your feet around on top of them to stimulate the nerve endings. Pick up the marbles with your toes, flex and contract your feet and toes and then let go off the marbles. This will allow the arches and muscles of the feet to stretch. If you have essential oils at hand, add a few drops of lavender, rosemary or peppermint into the warm water for extra indulgence.

While you can pamper your feet, ensuring you have a good pair of shoes is just as important in maintaining the health of your feet, and making certain you put your best foot forward. Every time you buy new shoes, have your feet measured - while standing and not sitting as the shape of your feet changes with daily pressures. Your feet are also likely to expand and lengthen with age as well as during pregnancy. If you wear the same pair of shoes daily, buy a new pair after six months as well-worn shoes lose their ability to support your feet properly. This can lead to feet, leg and back fatigue and problems.

It is also beneficial for your feet to be exercised in their own right. It is heavenly to walk bare feet on the grass, slowly stretching each foot as you walk. Walking along a sandy beach makes for great exfoliation.

For a simple foot stretch indoors, sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Loop a towel around your feet. Keeping the heels on the floor, pull the towel with both hands to draw the middle foot and toes towards your body. Hold for a few seconds and then loosen towel and relax. Repeat five times.

For an ankle stretch, sit with your legs stretched out in front of you with toes pointed down. Then bring toes upwards then bring it towards you as far as is comfortable. Hold for a few seconds, then relax and repeat ten times.

Following these tips and exercises should help keep you one step ahead, all summer long.


Nitya said...

Lovely foot care tips!! The marbles sound like a really good idea. Thanks for sharing!!

Manor Hall said...

I love rolling my feet over a bed of marbles and scrunching them with my toes. It really makes for a great home-spa massage. Thank you, Nitya!