At our office, we talk a lot about foot health. We’ll share exercises or stretches you can perform to keep your feet limber and strong, or talk about the kinds of shoes you should wear to prevent injuries or infections. Of course, we provide treatments for a lot of injuries, deformities, or other conditions that affect your feet and ankles, too. It’s not too surprising—foot health is our top priority, after all!
But sometimes it’s important to take a mental step back and understand that “foot health” is just one part of a much larger picture. Your feet and ankles don’t exist in a universe all to themselves; they are part of your body. Likewise, foot health is just one component of overall physical health, fitness, and wellbeing. The health of your feet affect the rest of your body—and your general health and fitness affect your feet, too!
Let’s break that down a bit. It’s relatively easy to follow the logic for how foot health contributes to fitness. After all, you depend on your feet for most of everyday activities that help you build and maintain fitness in the first place. If your feet hurt, you’ll probably spend more time sitting and less time standing, walking, running, playing sports, or playing with your kids. As a result, the health of your entire body declines.
But it also works the other way. Eating right, exercising regularly, and maintaining your personal fitness isn’t just good for your heart, or your lungs, or for blasting fat around your midsection. Every component of the body benefits, including (and sometimes especially) your feet.
Just like any other anatomical structure, feet contain nerves, blood vessels, muscles, bones, and other tissues. They need the same nutrition, of course, so a healthy diet is critical. Furthermore, exercise and fitness improve blood flow everywhere, and prevents inflammation and plaque from clogging blood vessels or pinching nerves. Feet and ankles are especially vulnerable to complications from diabetes, and are often the first location where the symptoms of neuropathy or peripheral artery disease become apparent. Staying active and maintaining a high level of personal fitness can often prevent these kinds of foot problems long before they ever occur.
Regardless of your current physical or health needs, we encourage you to embrace a whole-body approach to healthy, happy living! Everything is connected. Don’t ignore your feet as you focus on fitness—and don’t forget that fitness can help keep your feet strong!
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sanjay Patel in either Milford or Hamden, CT, please give us a call at (203) 876-7736.