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“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.”-Joyce Meyer
Article Authors: Gordon Slater | Tandose Sambo
Our bodies are like all systems. They have to be maintained over time, or else they will degenerate. Our bodies do age, but with time and effort, we can keep ourselves healthy and strong. Healthy feet and joints have to be proactively maintained. Our joints are those parts of our bodies where two or more bones meet, and integrate with the muscles and ligaments that stabilize them.
Healthy joints are maintained by reducing the wear and tear on the joints, and implementing an active lifestyle that keeps the joints healthy. By implementing a regime that keeps the body moving, it will be possible for you to live a long and healthy life. Healthy joint maintenance is the key to the prevention of conditions such as arthritis, and for the prevention of future conditions such as replacement surgeries. An active lifestyle will ensure that you are able to:
- Improve the circulation to your entire body. With activity, your blood flow and oxygen delivery to critical parts of your body, including your joints will be enhanced. Circulation to your joints will ensure that your synovial membranes receive the critical nutrients that they will need in order to thrive. These membranes provide the adequate lubrication and cushioning to the joint.
- As the joint activity is continued, you enhance the protection of the joints, and improve their range of motion.
- With exercise it will be possible for the muscle strength of the joint to be improved. With the improved strength of the muscles, you will be able to protect the joint and prevent injuries. With activity, the joints are able to heal themselves much faster.
By incorporating a series of exercises that enable you to improve your joint flexibility, weight-bearing capacity and cardiovascular functions, you will be able to keep your body in great health. Incorporate your exercise plan into your weekly routine, and aim to exercise a minimum of three times per week.
The key to healthy feet is to ensure that you are wearing shoes that fit. When it comes to shoe shopping, the key is to find the right one. With the myriad of shoes that are available on the market, it can be tempting to purchase shoes because of how they look, because that’s what’s trending, or simply because those models were readily available. The right shoe is critical to ensuring the health of your feet. Many current foot and ankle ailments take place over very long intervals of time. With appropriate care, prevention will be better than cure in the long run.
What is the right shoe?
The right shoe provides the feet with a mixture of cushion, support and comfort. The anatomy of the foot is such that it supports the body on a hinge joint. The appropriate alignment of the feet is critical to so much, inclusive of the health of the spine. The right fit of the shoe should be such that it fits snugly, and there is at least 1-1.5 cm of space at the end of the shoe. A few key characteristics of shoes that should be factored in include:
- A stiff back for appropriate heel support
- Flexibility to facilitate the motion of your feet
- Appropriate arch support – The arch of the foot is part of its engineering design that facilitates its ability to support the body appropriately. Shoes will not all be perfectly designed, so with the appropriate inserts, shoes can be customized to facilitate that additional comfort.
- Heel height – Heel height is very important for the support of the feet and the body. The body was designed for an optimum height. The higher an individual is off the ground, the higher will be the center of gravity of that individual. Any object with a high center of gravity will have the tendency to fall, compared to an object with a lower center of gravity. Women are aware of the fact that with higher heels, they do feel the instability that comes with being elevated. It will be important for an individual to ensure that they match their heel height with their personal height.
A consultation during the shoe purchase will help to facilitate that there is a match. With heels, the injury risk is significantly higher. Aside from the fact that one can fall, the possibility of a high ankle sprain due to twisting of the ankle is highly probable. Before you wear heels, ensure that you are aware of the terrain. If you’ll be walking on flat surfaces, you’ll be fine. Road surfaces that are rough or grainy such as asphalt, are not conducive to heels. Neither are grassy terrains. For the latter, heel stoppers, will prevent high heels from sinking too deep into the grass, and causing a potential injury.
e) Check your running shoes. Even though they are designed to be comfortable, periodically check your running shoes, and change them once they are at a point where they are worn. Designed to absorb the shocks that are attributed to running, a worn running shoe will lose its ability to absorb shock. Check your shoes and ensure that you have the appropriate support for your arch as well as your sole.
As shoe designs vary, the key is to ensure that the critical key criteria are met for the purchase. Take some time to have your feet assessed by your foot and ankle surgeon, to determine the current health of your feet. Your orthopaedic surgeon will be able to guide you with respect to the best shoes for your feet. As much as you want to purchase those cute shoes, the key will be to determine if they’ll enhance the health of your feet and body. For a special occasion, it will be an occasion to purchase those out of the box shoes, but for every day care, it will be critical for you to ensure that the right fitting shoe is purchased.
When shoe shopping, carry a trace of your feet, and also allow yourself to shop for shoes in the afternoon when your feet have gotten a chance to expand, and also had a chance to adjust to the weight of your body. When you first wake up, your feet will have been relieved of your weight. Giving them a chance to warm up will enable the appropriate choice to be made.
When it comes to women’s shoes, the options available are significantly greater than men’s shoes. Choice can lead to confusion, so it is important beforehand to know what choices to be taken, in order to make the right decisions and enhance your health.