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You’ve got the heating on, pie is in the oven and you’re looking forward to a good book all snuggled up in bed. But have you thought about your feet recently? Have you stopped to wriggle your toes? It’s so easy to forget about our feet during winter but more than ever they need our help to stay healthy.
Here are 10 tops tips for keeping your feet in great condition during the winter.
Socks and tights are standard winter attire, and I find myself wearing several layers of both sometimes, but synthetic materials can increase sweating and the likelihood of fungal and bacterial infections. Yuk! Switch to breathable natural fibres such as cotton, bamboo and hemp and your feet will thank you.
Your feet need fresh air everyday. I call this ‘footloose time’. Kick off your shoes and socks and let your bare feet frolic about the house for at least 20 minutes a day. This will help reduce sweating, and keep fungal and bacterial infections at bay.
Cleanse & clear
Cheap commercial soaps can irritate your skin. Use a mild PH-balanced antibacterial soap without synthetic fragrances to help keep your feet healthy and hydrated. Soaking your feet in a warm tub of soapy water with a few drops of organic tea tree essential oil will also help clear up a fungal infection.
Your feet will love: Frankincense Palm Free Soap and Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil
Dry hard skin builds up easily on your heels during the winter months. If they get too dry those heels can split and crack. Avoid dry skin by using a pumice stone on your heels and an exfoliating cloth inbetween the toes and on the sides of your feet.
Your feet will love: Fairtrade Exfoliating Hemp Cloth
The daily rub
Winter usually means more time indoors with the heating turned up, which can be very drying on skin, especially hands, face and feet. Keep the skin on your feet hydrated and moisturising by applying a nourishing foot cream regularly. For particularly dry feet I recommend applying cream last thing at night and wearing toasty bed socks!
Your feet will love: Organic Peppermint Reviving Foot Cream
Do the (ankle) twist
I’m definitely not recommending that your twist your ankle but it is important to keep stiff joints moving during the winter months. It’s easy to stiffen up and that will have an impact on your circulation. So start each day with a good stretch of every muscle in your ankles and feet to keep flexible.
Go with the flow
Chilblains are very common if your feet go from cold to hot too quickly, and believe me, they’re not much fun but a good foot massage can help relieve the pain and get your feet functioning again quickly. Massage is also great for any foot aches and pains, and keeps your circulation flowing.
Your feet will love: Organic Warming Oil
Ban soggy shoes!
Your shoes should be waterproof and your soles in good condition to protect your feet from wet weather. If water leaks into your boots, your feet could spend hours sweating in a small humid space, aka the perfect breeding ground for bacteria!
Check those toes
Toenails grow slower in winter (as circulation in the region is also slower) so we might not think to check them as often but please do! Build up under the nails (sock fluff we’re talking about you!) can cause problems if neglected.
A lovely hot shower or bath is a great way to feel toasty when it’s freezing outside. Be mindful that you don’t overdo the temperature though. Overheating can lead to dry skin or even scalding.