Your feet are important. So it is important that you keep your feet healthy because your feet are vital in keeping the rest of your body fit and healthy too! Just how important are your feet to the rest of your body? Lets take a look!
-Ankles, Shins, and Knees: Proper footwear is vital to keeping proper ankle and knee alignment and it also helps prevent shin splints by giving your feet enough support and proper balance. Having flat feet can cause overpronation, which causes a decrease in shock absorption of the foot. So all those activities you do can cause lots of damage to your legs without the right support.
-Hips: Improper alignment of the feet is bad news for your hips. The imbalance can cause changes in the way walk, move, and feel and cause cause a lot of pain and damage if left untreated. Our feet are meant to absorb the shock of our movement in our everyday environments. When your feet hurt and you change the way you walk, you can start to put additional wear and tear on the joints of your hips.
-Lower Back: Spend a lot of time on your feet at work, at home, or out exercising? Your shoes could be to blame for your aching feet at the end of the day. Poorly fitted and worn out shoes create more work for your back. You may tend to redistribute the alignment of your back to accommodate your foot pain, weakening your back and legs and causing changes in the way you walk. Custom orthotics and frequent shoe replacement can significantly decrease the stress exuded on your back.
-Your heart: Sedentary lifestyle leads to a decreased quality of life. Walking, running, and exercise are vital to a healthy heart. Moving your lower legs and feet by walking helps move blood through your system creating a healthier heart by moving more blood and oxygen through your body. Peripheral artery disease can also cause problems for your feet by decreasing oxygen flow to your extremities. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week, so make sure you have well fitted shoes because walking is good for your heart and good for your feet!
-Your nervous system: Your body and your feet are constantly talking back and forth. Sometimes your nerves mix up those signals or stop sending them all together and the result is peripheral neuropathy. This can cause weakness, numbness and tingling in your feet. Diabetics tend to be affected because of nerve damage the occurs due to complications with diabetes, though it can happen to anyone. Peripheral neuropathy may not allow you to have feeling in your feet. If a wound or infection develops, it can affect the foot and infection can cause problems to the rest of the body if it enters the bloodstream.
As you can see, your whole body really works together. Your feet play a vital role in your overall health. Don't wait until you're in pain before you see a podiatrist! Preventative health care is important in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.