What Causes Cracked Heels?

Also known as heel fissures by Podiatrists, cracked heels are a condition where the skin around the heel margin is split.

The cracks can be exasperated by calluses or very dry skin (anhidrosis), caused by under activity of the sympathetic nervous system as in, for example diabetics. This can lead to deep fissures that may be painful and become infected if they start to bleed.

The splits occurring when the surrounding skin on the heel is not sufficient to cope with the stresses and pressures put upon its during walking or standing and this shearing action inevitably causes to skin to split leading to cracked horses.

Their severity, will depend on how dehydrated skin is and whether the sufferer is overweight or pregnant, diabetic, wearing the right kind of shoe and whether they are moisturizing their feet regularly.

A lack of support around the heel margin by wearing open back footwear such as mules or flip flops can also cause problems.

The best way to prevent cracked skins is to keep the skin flexible by using a specially formulated heel balm or other emollient which contains a percentage of synthetic urea anywhere between 10% and 25%.

Remove any hard skin from the heel area using a foot file or better still, visit your Chiropodist / Podiatrist who will debride the boots using a scalpel or drill and give you the best advice on foot creams.

If the boots are particularly bad (although not infected) it is known that wrapping the feet in cling film after applying a suitable emollient or moisturiser can be very beneficial.

The cling film holds in the moisturiser allowing it to penetrate deep into the surface of the skin over many hours without subsequent evaporation or removal by bed sheets. You can also use Vaseline and bed socks if the cracks are not too deep.

Be very careful if the cracks are particularly deep and begin to bleed as the fissures may become painfully infected with bacteria or fungus. Always seek the advice of your doctor or podiatrist if this happens.

There are several natural treatments you might want to try for cracked heels as listed below:

  • soak your feet in a bowl of warm water infused with the juice of two lemons
  • massage your feet with coconut oil and where bed socks overnight
  • make a paste of avocado, coconut and banana and apply to the cracked heel for 15 min before rinsing off.
  • Rub sesame oil into the affected area and leave it on over night

So if you are suffering with painful cracked heels just make sure you moisturize them regularly. It will not only keep them feeling nice and supple, it will also leave them smelling nice!

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An Overview of the Different Causes of Heel Pain

Common Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is among the most annoying and debilitating health issues because it can seriously limit mobility. The heel must bear the weight of the entire body making it unacceptable to injury. It is critical to get an accurate diagnosis of the pain from the heel because there are several causes.

If you are experiencing pain in the heel read on to find out some of the common causes:

Plantar fasciitis – this is the most common cause of pain caused by the inflammation in the tissue that makes up the arch of the foot. The arch experiencing fatigue due to injury or overuse often causes plantar fasciitis. Long periods of standing and activity can increase symptoms.

Heel spur – heel spurs are commonly associated with people suffering from plantar fasciitis, although heel spurs can occur on their own. Heel spurs are common athletes as well as people who have occupations requiring a lot of walking and standing for prolonged periods.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome – tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by the large nerve in the back of the foot the get pinched or impinged. This is very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the hand. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause severe pain in the foot reducing or even inhibiting mobility.

Stress fracture – stress fractures are common in the foot but not in the heel. Stress fractures to the heel can occur as a result of acute injury or overuse. Athletes such as long distance runners are more susceptible to stress fractures than others.

Posterior heel pain – posterior pain in the heel leads to pain behind the foot rather than underneath the heel. Posterior pain in the heel is typically caused by tendinitis in the Achilles tendon or a bout of bursitis.

When to contact your health care provider

Many people wait too long to see their health care provider when they have recalcitrant pain in the heel. If you are unsure of what is causing your pain you should see your doctor immediately. The treatment of heel pain varies which means there are a wide variety of treatments designed to target specific causes. The wrong treatment can provide no relief and can make the undering cause worse.

Contact your health care provider if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

· Inability to walk

· Heel pain that will not subside

· Heel pain that gets worse at night or when resting

· Swelling that will not subside

· Foot discoloration

· Redness, heat or fever

Heel pain is something that you do not have to live with. The right health care provider can make the correct diagnosis and implement the right treatment plan.

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Choosing the Right Shoes: Tennis

You know that when you are playing tennis, balance is a critical factor in your game. You need to be balanced when you are swinging, and there needs to be that perfect balance between power and control in all of your shots. Did you know that good shoes are critical to your balance? The right pair of tennis shoes is also important to help you avoid soreness in your ankles and knees as well as blisters on your feet (all of which will have a negative impact on your overall balance, not to mention your concentration). Here are a few guidelines to pick out the best pair for your game:

Weight

A very light shoe is nice because you can move around the court much more quickly. You might have noticed, though, that tennis shoes actually tend to be a bit heavier than regular running shoes. This is because you need some extra cushioning, support, and durability for tennis. It is important to strike a balance and find a shoe that is as light as possible while still offering you the support that you need. Orhotics can actually help you out with this, and we'll discuss this further on.

Design

There are many different factors to consider when it comes to design. For those who need extra support, you can get added stability with a shoe that laces that thread into reinforcements down the sides. You should also consider traction. If you play on a clay court, look for a pair with a herringbone design on the soles (this looks like very tight waves). If you play on a hard court, try to find soles with a very varied design (all different sizes of waves in different places).

Durability

How quickly you go through tennis shoes will depend very much upon how you play. If you have a tendency to drag your toe when you serve, a durable toecap will have your shoes lasting longer. If you have gotten an open stance, some extra cushioning along the upper medial part of the shoe will also add to overall durability.

Custom Orthotics

Any pair that you choose can be greatly improved with the addition of some custom orthotic inserts. Orhotics designed for your individual feet can account for how your body shares its weight, and ensure that that distribution does not interfere with your game. Make sure you find a company that will assess both of your feet separately (they can be different!) And in both walking and standing positions.

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What To Do With Foot Pain

Our feet are the most used (and abused) part of our body. The feet carries our weight most of the day when we work, walk, and even play. Getting it hurt or feeling tension and stress in it is possible. Like any other body part, taking care of the feet is crucial so that we ensure that our feet are working at its best.

On a typical day, a normal person would take about 8,000 to 10,000 steps. With each step, about 2-3 times of the usual force is placed on our feet. It is no surprise that 70% of people will suffer from foot pain at some time of their lives.

Let us take a look into what enterprises our foot. It is a complex structure of 26 bones and 33 joints layered with an intertwining web of more than 120 muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Imagine this composition if one part gets affected by pain, untoward incident or injury, or a foot problem, it will certainly end up into foot pain.

Some of the causes of foot pains are heel pain, ball of foot pain (metatarsalgia), callous and corn, arch pain, bunions, flat feet, Achilles Tendonitis, and aching feet. Knee pain, lower back pain, and shin pain can also cause pain. Of course, there are other causes specific to a person. The treatment varies depending on its cause.

So, what do you need to do when you are suffering from foot pain? First thing in mind should be take care of your feet before anything else. Be kind to your feet. Wear appropriate and right shoes and foot wear. Give your feet a break. Do not overtire them and give them frequent rests as they deserve. Pamper your feet with a spa and a nice massage.

When you are already experiencing foot pain, here are some of the simple things you can do to lessen the pain.

1. Take rest breaks for your feet. You can elevate it a bit when you have had a walk or just have used it. You can massage it lightly as you are resting. A warm compress can also help relax the muscles and improve blood flow.

2. Seeing a podiatrist can help you assess how you use your feet and how you can take care of them. A podiatrist can assess your condition well and see whether there are under changing reasons for your foot pain. You are given adequate advise and treatment.

3. Use of appropriate foot products that can help your feet function to its best form.

You do not have to suffer from foot pain. Understand how your feet works and what you need to do to take care of them. Afterwards, you will realize you should be doing more for what supports your whole body than what you already know.

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How to Prevent and Care for a Sprained Ankle

If you run, hike or walk chances are you've sprained your ankle before before you recognize how painful and annoying it can be. Sprains can derail your fitness routine, sports activities or worse and the faster you can heal the better. So what should you do for a sprained ankle to speed recovery and get back to normal as soon as possible? In this post you'll find out exactly what a sprain is, what to do for a sprained ankle and how to protect against them.

What is a Sprain?
Ligaments, which are an elastic structure, keep the ankle bone and joints in place. Their primary function is to protect the ankle from abnormal movement. When working properly, ligaments stretch within their limits after which they return to a normal position.

A sprain happens any time a ligament is extended beyond it's normal limit. In extreme cases, ligament fibers may actually tear. The amount of force applied when you sprain your ankle related to the severity or grade of the sprain.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, distinguishing the different severity grades of sprains and some of the symptoms associated with them as follows:

Grade 1 -Minimal tenderness and swelling
Grade 2 – Moderated tenderness and swelling, decreased range of motion, possible instability
Grade 3 – Significant swapping and tenderness instability

* American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

What to do for a Sprained Ankle
It's always best to consult your physician when you suffer a sprain to be sure it's not a serious tear or that you have not broken a bone.

For a grade 1 sprain many, including the AAOS, recommend RICE

R = Rest. Stay off your ankle as much as possible to let it heal.
I = Ice. Apply ice for 20 -30 minutes three times more a day to help keep the swelling down.
C = Compression. Wrap your ankle with compression bandages to support it and keep it moving while healing.
E = Elevate your ankle above your knee whenever you can.
For a grade 2 sprain your doctor may also want to provide you with a splint or other device to support and immobilize your ankle further beyond recommending RICE

For a grade 3 sprain your doctor may consider a cast in order to ensure proper immobilization for longer healing.

How to Prevent Sprains

To prevent sprains:

  • stretch and warm up before each run or hike;
  • stay focused on the trail and look for obstacles and uneven surfaces;
  • be aware of your own body and slow down or stop if you begin feeling pain;
  • wear the appropriate shoes or boots to ensure you have proper support.

Summary:
Coping with a sprain is no fun but as a runner, hiker and active person you may have to at some point. Being able to treat a sprayer initially with Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation can help get you back on the trail faster with an ankle that's cured and in good shape.

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What Triggers Foot Pain?

Foot pain is caused by so many various factors. Besides the already known stress placed on it, there are others things that may increase the likelihood of having foot pain. What triggers this condition? Various researches and studies list these factors:

1. Age. As a person grows old, the feet widen and flatten. The skin of the feet also gets drier and the soles wear down. When the elderly feel the pain at the foot, it can suggest first signs of health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and circulatory disease.

2. Gender. Women experience more foot pain than men Mostly due to the reason that women wear high-heeled shoes. In older women, severe foot pain appears to be a major cause of general disability.

3. Pregnancy. Pregnant women also have higher tension to suffer from this kind of pain because of weight gain bought about by the condition. Swelling in the feet and ankles also adds to the pain as well as the release of certain hormones that can cause ligaments to relax.

4. Weight Gain. As with pregnancy, increasing weight plays a part in bringing about foot pain to many. The weight adds pressure to the feet both in standing and sitting position. As you walk, the weight placed by your body to your feet stresses the foot ligaments, joints, and muscles triggering pain.

5. Occupational Risk Factors. People who are always on the move or always walking are more prone to pan in the foot. Workers that always carry heavy loads are also candidates. These workers include salesmen, sales ladies in department stores and boutiques, cleaners, factory workers that are always standing, and other types of workers that entails putting stress on their feet.

6. Sports and Dancing. Runners, dancers, and athletes that uses the feet a lot are also candidates for foot pain. Heel pain, knee pain, and shin pain are what these people always complain and suffer from.

7. Over-pronation. When the foot rolls inwards and flattening of the arches largely contribute to the pain as well.

8. Diet and Exercise. What you eat and do also contribute to pain. Like with any other way on which you take care of your body, you should also do the same with your feet. Eat the right food and do proper exercise to take care of your feet.

As you understand these triggering factors, it would be easier and simpler for you to take care of your feet and avoid pain.

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Bad Shoes and Good Shoes

Bad shoes are what many foot injuries have in common. Bad shoes, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, are to blame for about 90 percent of all foot problems. Therefore, it is vital that you choose the kind of shoe you use very well.

No matter what type of shoe you're wearing, a bad shoe is one that does not fit properly, has lost its shape, causes pain or rubbing, or is worn unevenly. Bad shoes cause foot and ankle problems. But they can cause leg and back problems, too. While it is not easy to find the best fitting shoe, you have to give it your best shot to find one if you really love your feet and would do anything to make it running smoothly the longest time possible.

To get a good fit for any type of shoe:

• Buy shoes at the end of the day, after work or exercise, when your feet are at their largest. If you buy shoes earlier in the day, they may be too tight.

• Measure both feet and fit your shoe to the largest one, since your feet are not both the same size.

• Make sure you can wiggle your toes. If you can not, the fit is too tight. Also make sure the widest part of your foot is comfortable but secure.

• Walk around the store to see if the shoes are comfortable. Never buy shoes without first trying them on, and do not assume they will get comfortable with wear. If they do not feel good when you try them on, do not buy them.

• Try on shoes with the socks you plan to wear with them.

• When the shoe is on and you're standing up, make sure you can fit the width of your little finger between your heel and the back of the shoe – no more and no less.

• If your shoe fits in the shoe as you walk, the shoe does not fit.

• Do not let anyone tell you the shoe will stretch. Good shoes fit properly when you buy them.

• No matter how much you're attached to your closet full of comfortable old shoes, toss them in the trash when they are worn out and get new ones.

Fashion should not be your guiding principle in buying your shoes. Of course, you would want to look fabulous on your shoes but remember, you can be fashionable and comfortable at the same time. After all, comfortable shoes can be fashionable, too. Insoles can also help if you do not find the exact shoes that really match your feet.

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Rub On This Natural Product To Stop Problems With Smelly Feet

Did you know that the natural balance of good bacteria on your feet may have been removed by washing with harsh soaps over many years? And that this could lead to bacteria causing nasty foot odor taking over, causing the frustrating problem of smelly feet.

However, the answer may not be further scrubbing, soaking, excessive washing, bathing in acidic products or using harsh chemicals on your feet.

The answer may be as simple as just restoring the good bacteria back to its correct balance so it can then do the important work of getting rid of the offending odor-causing bacteria. Goodbye foot odor!

And here's some good news. There is a natural product you can use to restore this healthy balance.

It's not expensive and it's easily found at your local health food store.

You've probably never heard of it before and it has an unusual name: bifidobacterium longum. It's a probiotic (like the ones in yoghurt) and lots of people take it to improve their digestive wellbeing.

But it has a little known, surprising use on the outside of your body. It can help restore the 'good guys' – the healthy bacteria. The ones that chew through, and eliminate, the odor-causing bad bacteria on your feet.

You can find it in capsule form in your local health food store. A popular brand is Wagner Probiotics which also contains 2 additional good bacterial. Or, if you can not find that brand, just ask the assistant at the shop to show you products that have bifidobacterium longum in them.

When you get home, clean your feet with warm water. Then break open two capsules and pour the powder carefully onto your feet (one capsule per foot). Rub the powder gently into the skin. Put on clean socks and shoes as you normally would do. That's it!

Repeat daily until the smelly foot odor disappears. Be patient whilst your bacteria are busily repopulating your feet!

Oh, and remember to put some into your shoes as well.

To help prevent your good bacteria being removed when you are washing your feet, you might also like to start using a ph-neutral body wash.

Please be aware that no health product works for everyone. But I can confidently say this worked for me. So I wanted to share my discovery in the hope it might help you too.

And if it works for you, please share this article around to help other sufferers. Thank you.

Adelle Williams

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Orthotic Insoles For Children

Our feet are like the foundations of a house; they're what holds us up, and if they have problems the whole structure gets wobbly. It's important to care for your feet as an adult, because they need to be maintained in good condition. It's even more important to care for your children's feet, though, because as they grow they're vulnerable; a lack of proper care at a young age can cause a lot of problems later. Children's feet take time to develop and need to be monitored at every stage.

If you notice that your child has any difficulties in walking properly it's essential to see a doctor as soon as possible. Many common conditions that affect children's' feet can be sorted out quickly if they're already early enough, but if left alone might need surgery later. They may even cause your child problems for their whole life, and it's a tragedy when that happens because simple action was not taken early on.

All children are born with flat feet. As they grow an arch begin to form, usually developing by the age of about two or three. The arch is a key part of the foot's shock absorbing structure, helping it take the stress of the 8,000-10,000 steps the average person takes every day. Occidentally it does not develop, though. Some children (and adults) have no problems with this, but others may experience pain in their feet and lower legs. If you notice this get medical advice, but the doctor will probably recommend physiotherapy and orthotic insoles. Depending on the individual child this may help the arch develop normally or can improve their posture and reduce discomfort.

Tarsal coalition is another problem that can affect children. Luckily it's rare, but when it happens it can be crippling. It's caused by two or more of the tarsal bones, the longer bones in the middle part of the foot, failing to separate properly at birth. As a result there's a “bridge” of bone joining them and reducing the foot's natural flexibility. This bone bridge contains nerves; walking puts the bone under pressure, distorting it, and the nerves feel pain. The problem with a tarsal coal is that in young children the bones are more flexible and they can often walk normally without feeling any discomfort; pain only appears when they get older and the bones harden, so the condition often does not get noticed until a child is in their early teens. In severe cases surgery may be needed to correct it, but often orthotics can support the foot and treat the pain.

Even if your child does not show any specific problems with their feet there are things to keep in mind. Children now are very concerned with fashion, especially when they get to school age, and they're going to want to have the right footwear to fit in with their friends. Unfortunately this is not always the footwear that's best for their feet. Sneakers or running shoes are fashionable and great for doing sport, but they're lightly built and do not give the foot the support it needs for proper development. Some orthopedists are concerned that this can cause arthritis later in life. A solution is to let your child wear their favorite shoes but fit them with custom insoles to give proper support. This will avoid problems later.

If you're choosing orthotics for your child it's important to get the right fit. Insoles that are not properly shaped to the foot are useless, and sometimes actually harmful. The best solution is to have a pair custom made; that guarantees the best possible support to help your child develop properly. That used to mean ordering expensive ones from your doctor, but modern technology means you can order perfect ones online using only a smartphone or digital camera. These cost a fraction of the price, which means you can replace them every few months to give continued benefits as your child's feet grow.

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Four Healthy Habits for Diabetic Feet

I like to ask my diabetic patients an open-ended question when I see them for check-ups or nail care visits: “As a diabetic, what do you do to care for your feet?” This gives me a lot of information. Some answer immediately with the standard routine I recommend, some offer a few good habits and few that are not-so-good. Sometimes I just get a guilty smile and silence.

I can understand why the full routine may get skipped by my patients: each task by itself might seem somewhat inconsequential, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The real beauty of the routine is what happens when every piece is done regularly. If you stay familiar with your feet and take care of them on a regular basis, you have your best chance of avoiding wounds, infections, and amputations.

Here are my Four Habits for Diabetic Feet.

Habit # 1: Look at them every day. Seems simple, right? It's amazing how many people do not pay any visual attention to their feet. I've asked patients how long a large freckle, healed scar, or wound has been present on their foot, and often they reply that this is the first time they've ever noticed it. If you become familiar with your feet, you'll notice when something out of the ordinary pops up, like a bit of waving, discoloration, loss of hair on your toes, or texture changes in your skin. All of these things give your doctor information. For instance, hair on your toes is a sign of good blood flow; if you notice you've lost that hair, it might be time to start monitoring your blood flow a bit more closely. If you've got diabetic neuropathy (loss of sharp sensation, or numbness in your feet), you may even step on something without noticing. Looking at your feet each day can alert you to possible wounds or other problems much faster, and the quicker you jump on these things, the faster you heal with fewer complications.

Habit # 2: No going barefoot. Especially if you have diabetic neuropathy, but even if you do not, you should be in shoes. This one is tough: many people like to take their shoes off at home, out of habit, for comfort, or for cultural reasons. But most accidents happen at home when it comes to diabetic feet. People will stub their toes on bedroom furniture, get splinters on the back deck, or step on a dropped insulin needle or broken glass in the kitchen. A supporting pair of well-fitting shoes are a diabetic's best friend. Ask your doctor if your insurance will cover them. Also be mindful of the fit: if you have diabetic neuropathy, you may not feel the pressure from your shoes the way you used to. Properly fitting shoes may feel too big, and the increased pressure from a size too small may feel more appropriate. Do not be tricked – check with a sales associate or your doctor to make sure the shoes fit you. If your nerves have been compromised, you can not always trust them to tell you when a shoe fits.

Habit # 3: Use lotion; do not soak. The idea that soaking your feet is good for them is a common misconception. Soaking your feet in warm water after a long day can feel fantastic, but it's not actually helpful – it will dry out your feet and can make calluses worse. Just like chapping your lips by licking them, too much water over the skin on your feet will pull the natural oils and moisture out and leave the skin dry, irritated, and cracked. If you're using epsom salts or something similar to the water, this will pull even more moisture out. A better bet is to use a hydrating lotion (there are some good over-the-counter brands, or you can ask your doctor for a prescription). Apply it liberally to your feet, massaging it into your skins and areas of dry skin or cracking. Put a pair of clean white cotton socks on over top to trap the moisture of the lotion on your feet. You do not need to put lotion between your toes – this area tends to stay moist enough, and adding to it can promote skin breakdown or athlete's foot. Wipe out excess lotion that gets in there with a tissue before putting on your socks. This is also important after bathing: dry thoroughly between your toes.

Habit # 4: Control your blood sugar. This is the most important habit, and unfortunately requires the most time and energy. When your blood sugar is too high, it damages nerves, as well as small blood vessels – not only in your feet, but in your own body. If your nerves no longer function normally, you may experience pain, burning, tingling, or numbness. These malfunctioning nerves can not tell when you've hurt yourself, whether it's a blister forming in too-tight shoes, or a shard of glass you stepped on. And once you've lost the sensation, it's usually irreversible, which is why this is so important. In order to keep your nerves working for you and not against you, you need to keep them happy, with appropriate blood sugars throughout your day. If you're having trouble controlling your blood sugar, talk to your primary care physician to work out a plan.

It is much, much easier to prevent problems in diabetic feet than it is to heal an ulcer or recover from an amputation. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to take off your supportive shoes, and look at your feet as you apply some lotion. Pair this routine with an active goal to keep your blood sugar low and level, and together with your doctors you can prevent diabetic foot complications.

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Go Barefoot and Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Go Barefoot and Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Picture this! One evening in early March, you go about the last few minutes before bed planning what you are going to do the next day. You have just rolled off your socks, and barefoot for the first time since the morning, you lay out next to your bed the attire you plan to wear the next day. Some hours later, that alarm on your nightstand goes off and craving those few minutes of extra sleep, you hit the snooze one or two times. Finally after battling with your subconscious, you roll out of bed. You pad over to your sink in your bare feet, and wash up, brush your teeth and proceed to get dressed for the day, putting on that jacket and tie, blouse or dress. The time seems to flash by and you realize that you'd better hit the road.

Forgot Your Shoes?

You rush out the door and while waiting for the bus or train, or waiting to receive a package at the UPS office, you usually glance around. Your eyes are drawn to the shmorgasborg of footwear that is surrounding you. A pair of running sneakers paired with ankle socks. Next to that a pair of worn out scuffed up work boots flanked by a pair of jeans. A lady wearing a pair of elegant high heel boots with stockings making her legs appear as they were dipped in a bottle of indian ink. As you shift your stance, you feel your toes bend and as soon as your heel lands softly but unimpeded on the cool pavement, you realize that something is quite right, but at the same time, it is so right.

You finally force yourself to look down and much to your shock, that your toes are in plain view and between your bare soles and the ground exists nothing in between. Before you tell yourself to snap out of it – it is only your imagination, something brings you back to reality when the lady next you asks matter-of-factly, “forgot your shoes?”

You look down again and tell yourself that it can not be. But there are your toes starring back up at you. You feel the pavement underneath get colder as your foot feels the reality underneath. You lift up one foot and turn it in to notice your bare sole, now blackened from having not worn any footwear since the night before. You put your bare foot back down and look around again to realize that all those looks of those around you – some chuckles, some in shock or slight smiles – are fixed on your bare feet – quite a rare sight! or the most minimalist footwear like flip flops – your feet in the raw! You feel like you¡¯re having one of those nightmares where you are naked in the company of everyone around you that is clothed.

Chances are you may react by clutching the side of your head in disbelief as you utter – “OMG! I can not believe I forgot to put on my shoes and socks!

You are ready to panic and dash home if you are close enough to scramble into your shoes and socks. If you are far from home already, you resign yourself to the fact you're something naked – stuck in your bare feet while you toggle through your mind looking for first excuse you can find to tell them that you're going to be late for your job or interview – any way to avoid of being seen “GASP” barefoot!

Now rest assured, chances are that since putting on footwear before leaving your home is so routine, it is highly unlikely that this will ever happen to you.

Let's say it did, however. Another feeling comes over you. You shrag and smile at those around you as if to say, “hey, look at that. I'm barefoot on a cool winter day!” It could actually be fun and you may relish in the fact that while others are bundled up, their feet separated from the outside world in their shoes and socks, here you are experiencing full freedom by feeling the cool ground underneath your bare feet.

I know I do. Many times I'm asked if I forgot my shoes. The question tend to be irrelevant since most of the time I do not wear shoes or socks at all.

Sometimes the answer is yes – since I'm so used to having absolutely nothing on my feet, those seldom occasions where I feel that footwear might make a favorable first impression, I'll end up anyway forgetting to bring along my footwear and end up coming to my appointments or meetings barefoot.

But rather than panicking, I end up being thrilled as I look forward to another day of living a healthy lifestyle in my naturally reliable bare feet and go forward with what I was planning to do for the day.

Barefoot as a Healthy Lifestyle

Guys, how many of you enjoy that feeling of getting home after a long day of work, and kicking off your shoes and peeling off those socks? And ladies in those uncomfortable boots, how great a relief is it to relieve your feet of that constraining feeling as well as peeling off those hose! As soon as your feet are breathing and your bare soles hit the floor or carpet, you feel like a new person, right?

Now how about those days when you go to the park or at the beach, you rush to be the first one to ditch your footwear and feel the cool grass under your soles or ocean waves brushing between your toes! Invigorating, right?

Now, just imagine experiencing that relief for an entire day. Your heels, arches, and toes are able to easily stretch and breath without the constraints of anything on them. No waiting til you get home to bring your feet back to their natural state – bare – after almost ten nonstop hours in the office, or running around. Just imagine that feeling for an entire day. If you can imagine that, imagine being in that blissful state for multiple days at a time?

If you have not imagined it, no need to worry, I do not imagine it either since, to begin with I almost never wear any kind of footwear. So rather than using my imagination, I get to live the experience of allowing my bare soles be in contact with every surface uninteruppted 24/7 and live the barefoot healthy lifestyle!

Living A Barefoot Healthy Lifestyle

Many people are realizing the health benefits of going barefoot. There are many articles written, and several health and wellness specialists are highly recommending it.

However, despite there is a wealth of resources relating to the health benefits of bare feet, it looks that most of Western society looks at it as a something unsanitary, uncivilized and unprofessional while the most fashionable shoes, however uncomfortable and constraining they may be for your feet are seen as sophisticated and fashionable.

For the person who is educated about the benefits of going barefoot and conscious having healthy feet, without he lives in a barefoot society, this can actually cost him his livelihood and social life. and it is for this reason that I created this site and named it the Barefoot Healthy Lifestyle.

The Barefoot Healthy Lifestyle is more than just about the joys of going barefoot. In this site I provide ideas and examples about how to implement your lifestyle choice. Your lifestyle choice consists of three components:

Health – as this site will show you through the careful research of articles and cases, the health benefits of going barefoot far outweigh the benefits of shoes. You will have the knowledge to present to anyone that challenges your lifestyle.

Wealth – This is a key determining factor about making your lifestyle choice. We all need to put food on the table, pay our bills and support ourselves and our families. But the question is do we need to sacrifice the things we are most passionate about? This will not bring happiness or even wealth. Wealth is not necessarily about having a ton of money and material possessions. Rather it is about having the freedom of choice how you want to live.

Does your work mainly get you by on your daily expenses or are you able to decide on the choice of the lifestyle you want to live.

Since I made the choice to be barefoot every minute of the day, I Ruled out the option of a corporate 9-5 job carefully researching my other options and finding many that earn way more income than the 9-5 life.

In other sections in this site I will delve further about how you can earn a basic income without having to compromise your lifestyle. If fact after you've gone through this site you will have the ability to earn more than the nine to five employee forced to comply with the office dress code

Freedom – Freedom is having the ability to live a lifestyle you want, deal with who you want, where you want and when you want. In living a life based on wages rather then profit, this is next to impossible.

Since freeing my feet and living a healthier lifestyle my goal is to help like-minded people the same the same goals while accumulating wealth so you will never have to comply with someone else's rules and thus achieve the freedom to maintain the lifestyle of your choice!

The Barefoot Healthy Lifestyle promotes the pleasure of being barefoot any time and any place you choose. You will learn and teach others how they can live a not only a healthyier more prosperous lifestyle – and of their choice!

So kick off your shoes, take off your socks, flex those bare feet, wiggle your toes, and experience the joys of the Barefoot Healthy Lifestyle!

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Choosing the Right Shoes: Walking

Walking is a great way to keep in shape, get outdoors, and even save on gas. Unfortunately, without the right shoes, even a short distance journey can turn into a pretty unpleasant experience for your feet (which can actually end up affecting your whole body, too). If you do a lot of walking, or if you plan to start, then spend some time finding a good pair of walking shoes. You want a pair that will feel as good to wear as they look so you can get around by using your own two feet as much as you'd like without getting slowed down by shoes that have you not looking or feeling your best.

Choose the Right Size

This may seem like an obvious one, but many people are not actually aware of their true shoe size. Although most stores will have measuring tools available, those tools only measure your foot in two dimensions, which means that certain measurements are left unaccounted for. Make sure that when you are trying on walking shoes, you are wearing the socks you would wear when walking and standing up, so you can feel not just the length and width but also how tight they feel around your whole feet. Another issue to bear in mind is that most people have one foot that is very slightly larger than the other, but in some individuals the size difference can be noticeable in how each shoe feels. Remember to consider whether a discrepancy in size might be the cause for one side to feel less comfortable than the other.

Versatility

It's a huge plus when your comfortable shoes do not look like they were designed solely for comfort. Sometimes you want to look nicer when youre trekking around, so a pair that can double as stylish and easy on your body is ideal. For this one you are going to have to consider your own personal style and what clothing you wear most often, but for most people a very simple shoe will work best.

Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotic inserts can slip into shoes that you love the look of, but which would not offer enough support for you otherwise. Be sure to take the time to get custom orthotics from a company that will take the time to screen each foot individually in both walking and standing positions to see your unique pattern of weight distribution. A custom set like these can have you walking in style and pain-free, so you can focus on what you really want to.

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Choosing the Right Shoes: Running

Choosing the right running shoe is an important decision not only for comfort, but to avoid the painful consequences of inadequate footwear, like shin splints or aching heels. When you go to make that purchase, be sure to go prepared to pick the pair that will best suit the needs of a runner, as well as the unique needs of your own feet.

Why You Need a Separate Pair

While it would be great if your walking shoes could double as your running sneakers, shoes made for walking are very different from those made for running. A good pair for walking is going to be stiff, while the sneakers you need to run in will be more flexible and have extra padding for handling tougher impact. It should be fairly easy to recognize the difference, but if you are having trouble, be sure to ask a salesperson.

Your Unique Feet

Even if you feel like you know your shoe size, take the time to try on to double check; a lot of people actually do not know their true size because the measuring devices that they have in stores are only able to measure length and width, leaving out height. The best way to see if you are getting the right size is to try on while standing, not sitting, and move around a bit. If the shoe fits, there should be about 3/8 to inch inch between your big toe and the tip (about the width of your thumb). And, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes once it's on.

Come Prepared

When you go to the store, you should bring your own socks because they're what you will be running in. Also, though this may sound strange, it is better to go shopping later in the day. Feet tend to swell when you run or walk, and they also do so through the day. If you try them on later, they will probably resemble the state they are in when you run the most accurately.

Custom Orthotics

No matter which pair you choose, your shoes can be made much more conducive to running safely and comfortably with a pair of custom orthotic inserts. Custom orthotics can be made to relieve sore feet (and backs, and other parts affected by improper footwear) after an individualized assessment of each of your feet, both standing and walking, that reads abnormalities in body weight distribution. This way, you can hit the road without having to worry about getting slowed down by the wrong kind of pain.

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Foot Health During Pregnancy

Podiatrist's encounter many foot problems during and after pregnancy. From cramps and itchiness to swelling and aching, our feet can often feel very uncomfortable through pregnancy and following the birth. Hormonal changes and natural weight gain have a huge impact on the body and the feet bear the brunt of the major changes that a woman's body will go through.

Swollen feet, swollen ankles and arch and heel pain are the main causes of foot pain in pregnant women. Muscles and ligaments stretch and soften because of an increase in the ovarian hormone relaxin, which makes your feet more prone to ankle and ligament strains on a daily basis.

The choice of footwear can also be a factor in the cause of foot problems during pregnancy. A shoe with a heel of approx 1.2in (3cm) is recommended as they will help to shift the weight further forward on the feet. This can help to reduce any pain or discomfort. Wide fitting and supporting shoes will minimize discomfort and help to avoid long term damage. Choosing a shoe with a strap can help the shoe to stay in place although fiddly straps can sometimes cause problems in later stages of the pregnancy when you may struggle to reach your feet.

If high heels are a must they should only be worn occasionally or when you know you will be able to sit down through the day. On a daily basis, a supportive shoe should be worn.

When shopping for shoes try to shop later in the day as feet can swell through the day. Ensure that the shoes fit well before you leave the shop as it is a common myth that you can break in a pair of shoes – this is not true. Shoes with a round or square toe are recommended. If you are buying boots, make sure that there is room in the calf area as they calves can swell. Choose a boot with a side zip fastening as they will be easier to take on and off – this will be much more appreciated towards the end of your pregnancy!

Keeping active is also recommended to help reduce the risk of cramps and swelling. Do check with your midwife or GP before starting an exercise program.

If you do experience pain pain or general foot pain make an appointment with your Podiatrist to see how he or she could help you. If necessary an orthotic device can be prescribed to make your feet feel much more comfortable – as any pregnant woman will know, this may provide much needed relief.

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Some Alternative Treatments for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is often very hard to treat. Even once treated it may come back again. There are alternative treatments available for this condition but the solution is not a quick one. It can take four to six months to get rid of the infection. In some cases the entire nail has to be re-grown.

There are four types of fungal infection called onychomycosis. This is the most common form of infection found on the toe nails. Of these the most common starts on the tip of the toe nail. It penetrates all the layers and then expands down to the cuticle. There is another type that works in the opposite direction from base to tip of nail. One type that is not as common, starts out as just a small spot on a nail but can expand through the surface, remaining on the top layers. The Candida form will infect the skin that surrounds the nails.

A fungus is something that must be found at the initial stages. This makes it easier to remedy and keep from recurring. At the first sign of a white or yellow spot on the nail, a doctor should be seen. They can test the area to determine what it is and how to treat it.

Although the symptoms of this infection are most often cosmetic, it can be a source of embarrassment for those who have it. The nail becomes thicker and thicker then has a cracked appearance. It may become brittle and start crumbling from the tip down. The shape may be distorted and the nail loses its natural shine. It may be a severe case and involve pain and a foul odor.

The infection being in the nail makes it so the body is unable to fight the infection. All nails have keratin in them and fungus feeds off of it and grows. It should not be ignored because the damage is sometimes permanent. The nail may fall away from the skin of the toe and it is possible to get cellulites, a skin condition.

The medicine that is usually prescribed for this condition may have some unpleaser side effects. Some find it to be quite expensive, partly because of the amount of time it must be taken. The topical treatments found in the drug store work well for as long as they are being used. Once they are stopped the condition returns.

Some alternative remedies are very inexpensive. Vinegar has been found to have the ability to inhibit bacteria growth. A foot bath of two parts water and one part vinegar may provide some relief. Soak feet each day for about 15 minutes. Oregano oil is a very strong remedy. It contains antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti fungal and anti parasitic properties. A few drops mixed with olive oil can be rubbed into nails every day. Do not use for longer than three weeks. Tea tree oil acts as an antiseptic and a fungicide. It kills fungus and violates the growth of microorganisms. Combine tea tree oil, olive oil and thyme oil and rub into nails daily.

Toenail fungus is something that can be prevented in most cases, although it can be hereditary. Be sure to get to a doctor immediately if an infection is suspected. Keep feet clean and dry with socks that absorb sweat and keep shoes on public showers and bathrooms.

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