If you do 5000 steps a days that’s almost 4 Kms. Our feet are the workhorses of our body. Not to mention that our feet have to bear the weight of our body every step of the way. In addition, we cram them into shoes and stand on them for long periods of time. Those hard-working feet deserve a little more attention than you’re probably giving them. Here’s what you need to know.
You should take care of your feet everyday.
- Check them regularly for cuts, sores, swelling, and infected toenails.
- Give them a good cleaning in warm water, but avoid soaking them because that may dry them out.
- Moisturize them every day with lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly. Don’t put moisturizer between your toes. You want to keep the skin there dry to prevent infection.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes. Your shoes shouldn’t hurt your feet.
- Skip the flip-flops and flats. They don’t provide enough arch support.
- Rotate your shoes so you’re not wearing the same pair every day.
- Trim your toenails straight across with a nail clipper. Then use an emery board or nail file to smooth the corners, which will prevent the nail from growing into your skin.
Most common problems that we develop in our feet and how to solve those:
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are thick, hard patches of skin on your feet. If you have them, you may feel pain when you walk or wear shoes. They are usually caused by too much rubbing, such as from wearing very tight shoes, or too much pressure against your foot like standing for a long time or from a sport like running.
The only difference between the two is, where they occur on your feet. Corns usually form on the top of the foot, sometimes on a toe, while calluses appear on the bottom.
How do I treat corns and calluses?
Mild corns and calluses don’t usually need treatment and will go away on their own. But there are some things you can do to help them go away quicker:
- Wear thick socks to protect your skin.
- Rub your callus with a pumice stone while you are in the bath or shower.
- Use corn pads to relieve pressure.
- Apply salicylic acid to help dissolve corns and calluses. Be sure to follow directions carefully so you don’t damage healthy skin. Never use acid treatments on your feet if you have diabetes.
- Wear prescription foot orthotics.
If you have diabetes, don’t try to treat your corns or calluses on your own. Always see your doctor.
Nobody knows exactly what causes some people to have really sweaty feet, also called hyperhidrosis. It’s likely inherited. Most people sweat when it’s hot out, but people with hyperhidrosis sweat all the time. Hyperhidrosis is more common in men than women and in younger adults.
Stress, medications, and hormonal changes can also trigger your body to sweat more.
Besides the discomfort of having wet feet, which could make you slip in your shoes, you could find that you have smelly feet and are prone to infections since that wetness can break down your skin.
How can I get my sweaty feet under control?
Start with good foot hygiene:
- Wash your feet with antibacterial soap. Make sure to clean between your toes.
- Dry your feet, and sprinkle them with cornstarch, foot powder, or antifungal powder.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks.
- Change socks frequently throughout the day.
The two main culprits are sweating of the feet and your shoes. When your sweat mingles with the bacteria in your shoes and socks, it creates an odour.
How can I control foot odor?
Follow these tips:
- Wash your feet daily in warm water with mild soap. Dry them thoroughly.
- Dust your feet with baby powder or non-medicated foot powder. You might also try applying an antibacterial ointment.
- Change your socks and shoes at least once a day.
- Wear shoes that let your feet breathe: leather, canvas, and mesh are good options, not nylon or plastic.
- Avoid wearing the same shoes 2 days in a row. For athletic shoes, rotate pairs so each has time to dry, allowing at least 24 hours to air out.
- Soak your feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week (two tea bags ½ ltr of water, boiled for 15 minutes and mixed with cool water to make it bearable). Or use a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.
Diabetes and Foot Health
When you have diabetes, you are prone to getting the following foot complications:
- Foot ulcers and infections: Peripheral artery disease, a condition that reduces blood flow to the feet, is common in people with diabetes. It makes them more likely to get ulcers and infections. If you think you have an ulcer, which usually develops on the ball of the foot or bottom of the big toe, call your doctor immediately.
- Calluses: These thick areas build up faster and more often in people with diabetes. Talk with your doctor about treatment. One option may be therapeutic shoes.
- Neuropathy: Diabetes can cause nerve damage in your feet. As a result, you may not be able to feel pain, heat, or cold as well, which means a foot injury could go unnoticed. Nerve damage could even change the shape of your feet and toes, making it harder to wear regular shoes.
- Skin changes: Nerves control sweat and oil glands in your feet, but when they no longer work, your feet can get so dry that they peel and crack. Make sure you moisturize your feet every day. Avoid getting lotion between your toes.
Follow proper foot hygiene. Check, wash, and dry your feet every day. Then add these extras to your to-do list:
- Move more. Exercise improves circulation in the legs and feet.
- Avoid going barefoot. Wear shoes and socks that fit well and offer protection.
- Protect feet from temperature changes. Because of nerve damage, you may not feel heat and cold as well, so make sure you don’t burn or freeze your feet. Avoid putting them in hot water. Skip hot water bottles, heating pads, and electric blankets.
- Keep the blood pumping. Help keep blood flowing in your feet by propping them up when sitting. Move your ankles around and wiggle your toes for 5 minutes two to three times a day. Also, try not to sit with crossed legs for long periods of time.
- Moisturize daily. Treat the tops and bottoms of your feet – but not between your toes – with a moisturizing lotion.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can cause arteries to harden faster, which contributes to poor circulation.
These inputs have been taken from WebMD. WebMD has created an organisation that, they believe, fulfills the promise of health information on the Internet. They provide credible information, supportive communities, and in-depth reference material about health subjects that matter to you.
Feet are easy to neglect. But taking a few simple steps to care for your feet should be part of your overall strategy for maintaining mobility.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight affects your feet by putting greater force on them with each step. It can increase your risk of having a condition like arthritis in the feet, and it can worsen pain from other foot problems. Being overweight can also harm foot health by putting you at higher risk of diabetes or poor blood circulation, which can lead to foot pain and loss of sensation in the feet.
Wear good shoes. Many of the common foot problems that are described in this chapter result from wearing tight, poorly fitting shoes, especially high heels. One survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association found that 49% of women wear high heels—and three-quarters of them report that the shoes cause them pain. A lifetime of wearing comfortable shoes is one of the best preventive mea-sures you can take to ensure your mobility.
Moisturize your feet. The skin of the feet tends to get thinner and drier with age; calloused feet can crack and bleed, causing pain. To keep the skin soft, rub a thick moisturizing lotion into your feet after showers or baths as needed. Avoid the spaces in between the toes, where moisture can lead to bacterial overgrowth.
Practice good foot hygiene. Wash and dry your feet thoroughly when you shower or bathe. Cut toe nails straight across to avoid ingrown nails. Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove calluses. If you wear nail polish, let the toenails “breathe” for a couple of days after you remove it and before applying again, to keep nails healthy.
Stretch your feet. People don’t usually think about stretching the tops and bottoms of their feet, but stretches can help you treat and preventfoot pain. Stretches for the Achilles tendon are also important.
The shoes you choose to wear every day have a cumulative effect on the health of your feet. Crowded, ill-fitting shoes can lead to blisters, bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, and other painful problems. High heels can cause foot problems as well as back pain, postural misalignment, shortened calf muscles, and falls. Fortunately, there are many shoes available today designed for both comfort and style.
Look for shoes with a wide toe box that doesn’t squeeze your toes together. Women are especially prone to buying shoes that are too small, and the vast majority of foot problems in women come from wearing tight shoes. One helpful tip is to shop for shoes in the afternoon when your feet have slightly expanded, to avoid choosing too-tight shoes. Wear the socks or stockings that you would expect to wear with the shoes. Don’t be shy about asking to get your foot measured by a salesperson—most people’s feet get slightly larger and wider as they age, so your size may need adjustment over time.
Also make sure the shoe offers plenty of cushioning and support, including built-in arch supports. Many shoes today are designed with memory foam and composite soles to offer extra shock absorption. When looking for athletic shoes, always choose shoes that are designed for the activity you’ll be doing. Make sure they are roomy enough so that your toes don’t hit the front of the shoe as you move.
For daily use, women should opt for shoes with a low heel— no higher than three-quarters of an inch. The higher the heel, the worse it will be for your feet, even if the heels are wide.
Only 10 weeks to go for The Growth Retreat, a networking, I am hosting at Rishikesh from 8-11th December 2022. From this issue, every week we will bring you a write up by one of the esteemed guest speakers of the Retreat, giving you a sneak peak of what they will be sharing with the participants of the Retreat. Here is the first one in a series of nine.
Making Elephants Dance
Disruptive, entrepreneurial changes can be shaped everywhere, even in large corporations.
by Damodar Mall
In the beginning, all creation journeys are shaky, vulnerable and unsure. Even the winners begin their journey with sloppiness. However, we, as the audience, only witness the final story, which is coherent and linear and created after much ‘editing’. In reality the path from strategy to success is anything but linear.
I’ll share the conceptual framework for business creation that I follow, and the toolkit that has worked for me.
Which is the most successful and timeless consumer behavior shaping model? Which idea makes a large number of consumers, over long periods of time, do what what is prescribed and make them happily pay for it too? The answer is, the model of organised religion!
My business creation toolkit tries to draw some elements from my understanding of this phenomenon, which, in a very basic form, looks like this:
Belief: Any consumer business idea in its creation phase needs just a few empowered believers who are, crucially, ringfenced from the overall checks and balances of large organisation.
Design: Business design is an iterative process of Idea- Design- Pilot- Modify- Pilot, & so on. The mythology is shaped, with the benefit of hindsight, after the ‘promised land’ is discovered in the pilot.
I am a retail business leader at the Reliance Group, a business behemoth. No change that I have driven at Reliance Retail, started as a big change. Every idea always started as a pilot that, on the face of it, had little consequence. It emerged from an insight or a point of view about the opportunity. When a leader tentatively says, “I have this point of view. Shall we test it out in the market?”, sounds more vulnerable than “I have a big plan.” In the former, people become allies, while in the latter, they become critics. At this stage, you want them bring out their pencils, not their red pens!
This is a tricky period. To be a leader and yet be unsure and vulnerable, requires courage and does not come naturally. It is trained behavior. With this backdrop a quick, design/pilot/redesign play can be mounted with a small team of believers.
Once the signs of success become visible in the pilot, you write the big strategy. That’s when nuances and insights are stated with a flourish for high impact and followership. At scale, you need to create the mythology that mobilises converts. The world of rituals and stories that ensues allows a large number of people to empathise and embrace the movement.
Once we have succeeded with the customer in the pilot and have built the mythology or strategy, we can remove the ringfencing around the project. Now we must have a project plan, network and even a set of people different from the task group that incubated the idea in the first place. From this point onwards, the big corporation and its methods to scale become a productive force.
The rest, hopefully, is history.
Damodar is the President & CEO at Reliance Retail. He is the winner of Retail Icon and Most admired Grocery retail award winner. He led the creation and scaling of significant retail ideas in India: JioMart, RelianceSMART, FreshPik, Foodhall, Big Bazaar, DMart. Damodar is IIT Bombay and IIM Bangalore alumni. He has authored two books : SupermarketWala : Secrets of Wining Consumer India & Be A SupermarketWala : Step-by-step guide to Supermarket success
You can connect with him on Twitter @SupermarketWala
Damodar is one of the mentors at The Growth Retreat.
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We have also archived all the old issues and you can access them at www.sandeepmall.com. They contain some very good tool kits to take charge of your well being.
See you next week .
The information provided in this newsletter is not medical advice, nor it should be taken as a replacement for medical advice. I am not a medical Doctor so I don’t prescribe anything. Most of the tools suggested are based out of scientific research and my experiments with them. Your healthcare, your wellbeing is your responsibility. Anything we suggest here, please filter it through that responsibility.