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Tips for Keeping Your Feet and Ankles Healthy in Summer

Posted on Aug 9th 2023

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Tips for Keeping Your Feet and Ankles Healthy in Summer

Summer is the perfect time of year to get out and explore. Whether you’re hitting the trails, hiking mountains, coaching little league or anything in between, a foot or ankle injury can put a cramp in your fun. Keep yourself moving with some basic tips and tricks for staying healthy.

Keep Your Feet Clean

During summer months, when you are more likely to spend time walking around in your bare feet or sandals — or being more active in general — there are many ways that you can help protect the health of your feet and ankles and improve their stamina. The No. 1 tip may surprise you — wash and dry your feet daily!

Washing your feet helps prevent odor and cleans away dirt and germs. It also allows you to check for signs of blisters, cuts, or other potential sources of pain or infection. This is especially important if you have diabetes or impaired nerve and vascular function.

Don’t Forget Lotion

After washing and drying your feet and ankles, take time to moisturize them. You’ll keep your skin soft and avoid the formation of calluses or corns. Note that if you have diabetes, it’s best to avoid moisturizing between your toes. When you cut your toenails, trim with clean clippers and cut straight across. Cutting the corners can encourage ingrown toenails.

A person cleaning their feet in soapy water - tips for keeping your feet healthy in summer with Chronic Care of Richmond.

Prioritize Your Footwear

When you wear shoes, select those that support your feet and ankles properly, especially if you’re going to walk a long way or be on your feet for a long time. Pay special attention to shoes that support your arches and heels well, which will help prevent injury and increase your endurance. As tempting as it may be to go barefoot outdoors, wearing shoes outside is best to decrease your injury risk, particularly if you have diabetes. When you wear socks, find those that fit well and are moisture-wicking and change them daily (or if they get overly wet due to sweat or weather).

Modify Your Activity

Switching up your exercise routine is a great way to help avoid pain and injury. Instead of only running, for instance, go on a bike ride. Take a swim after a long hike. Swimming and biking are particularly low-stress on your joints while also being a great workout. If you do experience pain, don’t try to push through it. Take a break, stretch a bit, and slow down if necessary.

A person rolling their feet on a pad to alleviate foot pain - tips for healthy feet and ankles with Chronic Care of Richmond.

Take it Easy

Doctors and other healthcare providers generally recommend about two and a half hours of light to moderate aerobic exercise weekly. Maintaining proper body weight is an important factor in keeping your feet and ankles healthy. Still, it’s important not to overdo it. In these busy summer months, take five to ten minutes after extended activity or after standing for long periods to elevate your feet and ankles. Even a few minutes can improve circulation and reduce any pain and swelling.

When in Doubt, Get Help

Even with good care, you may still injure your feet or ankles or find that persistent pain doesn’t go away. If you have questions or concerns about alleviating or preventing pain in your feet or ankles, contact Chronic Care of Richmond today. We specialize in helping those with chronic pain. Our team will do what we can to help you have the best summer possible!