Holiday season is upon us. With it brings cold weather, social events, increased walking and shopping, and often stress. We tend to take for granted one of the most used parts of our bodies, our feet. Our feet bear the brunt of the hustle and bustle of daily routines and increased activities.
Some fun foot facts:
The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles over a lifetime. That’s enough to go around the circumference of the earth four times. Humans have nearly 8000 nerves in our feet. The human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons.
With the cooling weather comes cold feet. I am not talking about the nervous groom or run-away bride. I am talking about your body from ankle to toes. Running through city puddles, trekking through snow, or just getting from point A to point B often causes cold feet. Did you know there are other medical reasons for cold feet to occur?
Stress is one of the top driving factors for many body aches and ailments. Holiday season tends to bring increased stress. Stress can lead to poor diet, lack of sleep, and poor circulation. Lack of proper circulation results in cold feet and hands for most people. Designate a minimum of 10 minutes each day for relaxation. You can do different calming activities such as meditation, listening to calming music, or enjoying a soothing beverage of choice. Those 10 minutes will allow your mind and body to rest from the stress of a long day and can prove vital to your mental and physical well being.
Anemia is a condition when the body has a low red blood cell count. This can be caused by a deficiency in iron, vitamin B12, or folate, or chronic kidney disease. Moderate to severe anemia can lead to cold feet. It can often be treated by changes in diet and supplements. A proper course of treatment should be consulted with your doctor. Be sure to mention frequent cold feet to your physician during your visits.
Diabetes often results in frequent high blood sugar levels which leads to a narrowing of the arteries and a reduced blood supply to tissues. Diabetes can also lead to diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage. Diabetic nerve damage typically happens in people who have an uncontrolled, high blood sugar level for long periods of time. Symptoms of nerve damage are tingling, numbing, prickling sensations, or burning of the feet and legs, and often worsen at night. If you are diagnosed with these symptoms, it is vital you follow your doctor's guidelines. Look at investing in diabetic circulation socks and stockings to assist in comfort. Foot massagers and warmers can also help with nighttime discomfort.
Nerve disorder's such as trauma, injury, or hypothermia are also causes of cold feet. Hypothermia can easily happen when extremities are exposed for long periods to cold wet conditions. Be sure to stay insulated as the temperatures drop and keep your feet dry. Look at shoe and glove warmers for frequent exposure. You can also invest in a shoe drier if you live in colder areas prone to excessive rain or snow. If you feel you have had damaging exposure, immediately be seen by a doctor for and exam and a course of treatment.
Hypothyroidism is caused by an under active thyroid gland, producing a low level of thyroid hormone. This causes a negative impact on your body's metabolism, heart rate, and temperature, often leading for poor circulation causing cold feet. Other symptoms are fatigue, weight gain, and memory loss. Any sudden changes in your metabolism or the above symptoms should immediately be addressed with your doctor.
What are the things you can do day to day to keep your feet healthy and warm? Constant movement helps with circulation. Consider investing in a health tracker bracelet or smart watch. Set daily goals to not only keep your feet active but your overall health in check. Socks are key! Long gone are the day's of the 80's no sock trends. Warm, dry socks can prevent long term damage, keep comfort, and just feel good! If you are on your feet for long periods daily, consider warming foot baths for 10-15 minutes each night. This will allow you to de-stress and give your feet the much needed warmth and relaxation. Heating pads, heated foot warmers, or warm water bottles after a day in the sow are also inexpensive ways to rejuvenate those cold feet and toes.
Now that your feet are warm, relaxed, and healthy, let's bring on the holiday's! No matter how hectic, stressful, or long the days, we at Envision Safety & Security encourage you to seize each special moment and create lasting memories. Do so safely, securely, in good health, and with abundant love!
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness.” – Helen Keller