Chances are you have two of them. Some feet might be kinda funky smelling, some might be covered in warts and others are manicured like a Zen Garden.
According to health24.com, there are
- 26 bones
- 33 joints
- 107 ligaments
- 19 muscles and tendons
in the human foot!
In fact, the 52 bones in your feet make up about 25 percent of all the bones in your body. So, while we like to talk a lot of smack about feet, about how they truly can gather the funk, that they really are sometimes rather mangled-looking, feet truly are special.
Perhaps you’re a podophile, what you call someone with a “foot fetish”. Perhaps you’re just the opposite and you don’t even bother looking at them when you rise and when you fall. Take a look sometime. They’re pretty magical things.
And some even consider them sexy.
What’s SEXY and HEALTHY about feet?
According to Dr. Jeffrey Bowman of Houston Foot Specialists there are three main parts to making a foot sexy:
- Sexy Skin
- Nice Nails and
- Foot “Curves”
We’ve all seen them, the feet in the commercials that look so smooth that they appear to be airbrushed. Well, chances are, they have been just that, airbrushed! But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have nice feet.
It starts with care.
Take the Time to Care for Your Feet
When you’re scrubbin’ away in the shower or bath, don’t just assume the soap running down will magically get your feet clean. Take the time to get in between each toe and to wash the bottoms of your feet.
According to Dr. Bowman:
“The more effective way to get dry skin to smooth baby-bottom skin is through the use of exfoliators.”
Just like we care for our faces, we care for our feet. As the father of a now four-month-old, I know what the good doc is talking about when he says baby-bottom skin. We want smooth, soft, and smelling like baby powder (okay, perhaps not the last part). Trim Those Velociraptor Toenails. Perhaps you’re headed in for an interview. Perhaps you figure people don’t really notice your fingernails, let alone your toenails. Well, friends, guess again.
According to Ruth Mayhew, writer for The Nest,
“The condition of your nails can be the deal-breaker concerning your appearance during an interview… Neatly trimmed nails, buffed to a gloss and minus ragged cuticles show that you pay attention to details. And the interviewer will look at your overall appearance, so you can’t conceal your hands and nails.”
Now mind you, she’s probably referring to your fingernails and not your toenails but trust me, as someone who’s got a right big toenail that used to look like it was about to take itself for a hike and never come back , you want to get your toenails cut, kept clean/manicured, and ready for whomever might get up close and personal with them.
Going Under the (Foot) Knife
Keepin’ it real, sometimes feet grow… interesting… “features”. Bunions, hammertoes, weird scabs, nails that cut into the skin and bleed and puss and fester… yeah, it all can happen. Consider finding a good podiatrist to look at your bad foot fungus or you hangnail before it becomes a side show act for Cirque Du Soleil.
Remember: there’s no one right way for your feet to look. Take care of them… and they’ll take care of you. Now, with regard to STRENGTHENING the feet?There are TONS of things you can do to strengthen your feet!
According to Sports Injury Clinic.net, exercises like spreading the toes, forefoot press, toe lifting, pencil lifting (it’s exactly what it sounds like) all help you strengthen your feet.
Try these moves at home or under your desk at work!
Spreading the Toes
- Place feet flat on the floor.
- Spread the toes as far as they will go and then return them together.
- Repeat this 10 times, rest and then perform a further 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Aim to repeat this exercise 3 times a day, as above.
I tried these this morning and, yeah, wow, I really feel a difference! I guess we shouldn’t be surprised: when we stretch we feel things happening, we feel better. You might even feel sore!
- Place the back half of a foot on a suitable book, and the forefoot on a set of weighing scales, ensuring the foot is horizontal as far as possible.
- Press down with the forefoot onto the scales to see who much force you generate.
- Repeat 10 times for each foot.
- Perform this exercises daily. It is an excellent way of seeing exactly how the strength of the foot is improving.
This activity takes “standing on the scale” to a whole new level. Remember as a kid jumping on the bathroom scale and trying in vain to weigh yourself down? This is that and a whole lot more. You literally are seeing how strong your feet are and, hopefully, over time, you’re seeing yourself getting stronger feet!
- Pick up a pencil in the toes.
- Hold for count of 6, repeat 10 times.
- Aim to perform this exercise 3 times a day.
- An alternative version of this is to repeatedly scrunch up a towel in the toes.
This one I had to try to believe (and no, no photographic evidence). I could feel the muscles in my feet, particularly over the top of my arch, flex and relax, flex and relax. Again, something you could do at work under your desk. Just be prepared to answer questions if people see it happening!
Functional Strengthening Exercises
Our friends at Sports Injury Clinic.net share exercises that “are more closely related to day-to-day activities” including walking on the toes and walking on the heels.
Try out both and let us know what works for you!