You stand on them and they carry you from place to place, so there really are some things you should know about your feet. They are the body part that many people say they like least and some feet can be pretty ugly, with misshapen toes, fallen arches, bunions and hard skin. If you pay attention to these things you should know about your feet, you may start to appreciate them more and look after them a little better.
1. The Bare Bones
The foot is actually an amazing piece of biological engineering. They don’t just provide the platform on which you stand through the miracle of nature. They have to be pretty miraculous because they support our entire body. One of the things you should know about your feet is the basic anatomy. Your foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, over 100 ligaments, muscles and tendons. That’s one complex body part!
2. Foot Health
Considering their vital importance, many people don’t give much thought to the health of their feet. We give them pedicures, paint the nails and indulge in the occasional foot massage. But seriously, how often do you cram your feet into tight-fitting shoes, spend all day wearing heels and spend too long standing on them? Feet are more susceptible to injury than you might imagine and you really should be taking greater care of them. Don’t just think of the day to day use of the feet as wear and tear. It is stress and you should consider that just as much as the impact of stress elsewhere on your body.
3. Eww Sweaty
It’s no wonder that our feet are prone to being sweaty. One of the amazing facts about feet is that they each have around 250,000 sweat glands. It’s funny that we choose to wear shoes because sweating is a process that helps regulate body temperature. As one of the three sweatiest places on the body (after scalp and hands), inhibiting the process of sweating can cause problems. It is preferable to go barefoot as much as possible, or at least wear open shoes as much as you are able to.
4. Toe to Toe
When you are born, doctors usually check that you have 10 toes (along with 8 fingers and 2 thumbs). This has become more of a tradition nowadays because so many things show up in ultrasound scans and immediate post-natal checks. A detailed exam of a baby’s toes and feet will usually happen when doc gives a thorough post-natal exam.
5. Foot Prints
When you were a kid, did you ever take a print of your feet in paint or some other medium? Did you notice that your feet have a print like your hands – i.e. that they are covered in a network of lines and creases? Along with the palms, the feet are the only parts of the body to have this pattern of tiny undulating folds. Just like handprints, footprints are unique to each person.
6. Feet Are Nervous
Ok, that’s not quite the right expression. Actually, the word I should be using is innervated. Another of the interesting facts about feet is that the soles contain a mass of nerves and are one of the most nerve-rich body parts. There is an estimated 100,000+ nerve endings in the sole of each foot. Their function is to send signals to your brain about what you’re walking or standing on, with the receptors reacting to adjust to reduce the impact on your joints. Trouble is, shoe soles inhibit that capability.
7. Nailed It
Like your fingernails, your toenails can give all sorts of clues about your overall health, and you should pay as much attention to your toenails as your do your fingernails. Look after them to prevent in-growing nails and fungus infections. Toenails grow much more slowly than fingernails. On average, a fingernail grows 3.5mm a month compared to a toenail’s 1.67mm.
Are you impressed by how complex the foot is? How do you feel about your feet now? Will you treat them with a little more TLC?