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4 Lifestyle Habits for Strong and Healthy Feet 

4 Lifestyle Habits for Strong and Healthy Feet 

Like most New Yorkers, you’re likely no stranger to logging countless steps through Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. New York City residents log more steps than residents in any other American city!

That’s why our podiatric surgeons here at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, want to share four lifestyle habits for strong and healthy feet so you can keep foot pain at bay!

1. Choose your shoes wisely

Your shoes are more than just a fashion accessory. Your footwear is responsible for protecting your feet from the elements, from germs (don’t forget to wash your shoes!), and from cuts while you walk, but not all shoes offer the same level of protection. In fact, some shoes can do more harm than good.

What to wear

Choose shoes that provide proper support, cushioning, and a comfortable fit. The ideal shoes should have:

Many cute and fashionable shoes meet these requirements so you don’t have to sacrifice looks for function.

What not to wear

Avoid excessively high heels or shoes with narrow toe boxes because they can contribute to foot discomfort and various podiatric issues like bunions and hammertoes. 

Tip: When buying new shoes, always get professionally measured. Be sure to try on shoes since different brands can fit differently even if they’re the same size. Go shoe shopping in the afternoon to account for any swelling that happens after a day of standing on your feet.

2. Exercise regularly 

Physical activity isn't just good for your mind and body. It’s good for your feet too! Incorporate exercises that strengthen the muscles in your feet, ankles, and calves. Simple activities like toe curls, ankle circles, and calf raises can boost the stability and flexibility of your feet.

What is “regular” exercise? Aim for 150 minutes per week. You can break that up in whatever way works best for you. You might consider several 10-minute intervals throughout your week, or you might block off five 30-minute workouts. However you do it, it all benefits your feet!

Reminder: Always remember to warm up before any exercise session. Warm-up exercises help reduce your risk of sports injuries like muscle strains and ankle injuries.

3. Practice good hygiene 

Practicing good hygiene isn’t optional. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish! Pampering your feet doesn’t just feel good but it also helps prevent common foot issues like fungal infections and odor. 

Wash your feet daily and dry them thoroughly, especially between your toes. If you have diabetes, it’s even more important to get in the habit of inspecting your feet daily. 

Keep your toenails trimmed straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Moisturize your feet (especially your heels) regularly to combat dry skin, but skip the lotion between your toes to prevent moisture buildup.

4. Change positions throughout the day 

Staying in one position too long (whether that’s sitting or standing) can increase your risk for varicose veins. Take breaks during long periods of standing or sitting to stretch and move your feet. Elevate your feet whenever possible to reduce swelling. 

If you spend extended hours on your feet, consider using custom orthotics to provide extra comfort and reduce strain.

Bonus tip: Schedule regular podiatric exams

You schedule yearly dental exams and annual physicals, so don’t forget about your regular podiatric exams!

What to do if you encounter foot issues

Even with these lifestyle habits, it’s not always possible to avoid foot and ankle problems. Accidents happen, infections can spread from one family member to another, and foot pain can creep in. No matter what type of food problem you’re facing, our team has what you need under one roof. 

Depending on your needs, our team may recommend:

Our team also provides guidance on additional lifestyle habits for strong and healthy feet based on your unique needs.

Ready to book your podiatric exam? Schedule your appointment at either of our two New York City locations today.

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