How to care for your feet as you age

Aside from the usual aches and pains you might associate with getting older, you may start to notice that your feet ache that little bit more and even walking can become painful. It’s natural to develop problems with our feet as we age – they have literally carried us our whole lives, and the wear and tear of joints start to slow us down. The skin also starts to lose its elasticity and becomes drier and much more fragile. But there are things you can do to help soothe aging feet.

Stay at a healthy weight

Your feet bear your entire body weight, and the more weight you have, the harder they have to work. As we age, it takes longer for our feet to recover from minor tears and strains, and as little as 20 pounds can change the way your foot functions. It can increase the force on your feet and trigger pain.

If foot pain is prohibiting you from exercising, try a low-impact, non-weight-bearing sport like swimming.

Stretch your feet

As we age our calf muscles tighten, which puts more stress on the balls of our feet. Stretching daily can offer immeasurable release. Start by standing on the edge of a step and allow the heel to slowly lower. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat. This will help stretch the calf and cause it to relax.

Similarly rolling a tennis ball along the sole will help release the plantar. Squeeze the ball between your toes and you’re sole, and then release. Aim for a few minutes every day.

Wear the correct footwear

Wearing footwear that offers stability and support will not only help your feet but will offer you peace of mind if you’re starting to feel unsteady. Buy footwear from companies like Mobility Solutions who specialize in creating footwear that provides extra comfort and support.

Because your feet swell as the day goes on, it’s worth shopping for footwear in the afternoon. If the shoes fit when your feet are at their largest, you can rest assured they’ll always be comfortable.

Moisturise and file

As skin ages, it can become extremely dry and brittle. Try moisturizing at night and wear cashmere socks to lock in the moisture. Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove hard skin, but don’t overdo it, as you could damage new skin underneath.

Toenails should be trimmed regularly using proper nail clippers. Try to cut straight across, and never at an angle, as this can cause ingrown toenails – and cause further pain.

Our feet are the key to our mobility, and it’s therefore important to get your feet checked regularly by a GP, nurse, or podiatrist if you have a health condition, such as diabetes, poor circulation, or low immune system.