If you’ve never injured an ankle, broken a toe, or found yourself unable to put your weight on your feet in the morning, well then, you’re lucky. At some point in our lives (be it while joining in group sports or dealing with multiple health issues as a senior) not having healthy feet will prevent us from doing what we’ve always assumed was going to be possible.
You may think that feet aren’t that big a deal – they’re handy and all – but, in relation to other body parts like the heart, do our feet really need that much attention?
Neglect Really isn’t Intentional
Somehow our feet are the most taken-for-granted parts of our bodies. We just assume that any old shoe will do, that a pedicure’s always a good thing; that our feet are always going to get us there.
Hold on a moment. It turns out that there’s more to a foot than meets the eye. Ever give any thought to why healing therapists and acupuncturists rely on a foot’s pressure points and nerve endings to cure just about everything we suffer from?
Anatomy: The Beauty and Science
Even Leonardo da Vinci endorsed the foot’s proper status as a “masterpiece of engineering.” He came to recognize his anatomical paintings as scientific activity, while creating hundreds of intricate drawings of human anatomy; developing the skills that would bring his portraits ‘to life.’
Amazing the way you instantly recognize the strength of the human body when you stand before da Vinci’s mesmerizing masters. How beautiful and astounding the mechanics of standing, walking, bending, and reaching really are. Did you ever consider what makes all of that possible?
7 Healthy Feet Facts for YOU
- You don’t need shoes while strength training; doing these barefoot will strengthen your joints, muscles and even correct imbalances.
- Your foot has 26 bones with 33 joints – and makes up a whopping twenty-five percent of all the bones in your body.
- Your foot has more than 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons AND over 200,000 nerve endings.
- Your body’s largest and thickest tendon, the Achilles, actually joins your heel to your calf, puts a spring in your step and allows you to raise up on your tiptoes.
- Your foot has more than 250,000 sweat glands; producing up to 16 ounces per day!
- Your foot contains a network of blood vessels for three critical muscles; the sole, the lower calf and the large calf!
- Your foot is ‘designed’ to be flat on the ground; its primary functions are to give you propulsion and shock absorption!
An Ounce of Prevention…
As an example, let’s take driving a car down the street. When you suddenly veer around potholes or car parts that appear ‘out of nowhere’ you save yourself from damaging your vehicle. On the other hand, you may end up in a ditch because instead of ‘acting’ with caution you’ve ‘reacted.’
When your tire tread is low, you replace the tire; because it’s more apt to blow or skid through a puddle of water. Same goes for your everyday athletic shoes; if they’re wearing thin they aren’t supporting you. Out for a jog, you try missing a low branch by ducking; you stumble and sprain an ankle. Simply think through it, take the time and make a smarter move.
Another Smart Step
Again, we assume so much when it comes to our feet ‘being there’ for us through thick and thin. If we could just focus more on keeping our feet in the best shape possible, we would avoid so many potential injuries.
Have you ever been seen by a podiatrist? Why not take the time to go in for a preventative checkup? Maybe you have flat feet or high arches and you never realized it. Perhaps you’re walking with your foot turned inward and don’t know the effects of pronation. Are you wearing the proper footwear for your foot type? Scheduling an appointment with your local podiatrist may just change your life.
Dr. Elizabeth E. Auger has provided holistic and dedicated podiatry services in the Salt Lake City area for over two decades. As an athlete herself, Dr. Auger loves the Utah outdoor environment and is highly experienced with sports injuries as well. Same-day appointments are available in all three locations!