Feet are such fascinating body parts.
These wonderful collections of bones, soft tissues, muscles and joints are crucial to your life and everyday experiences.
If you actually got down to thinking about it, you owe so much to your feet. They help you stand, walk, run, sprint, jog and so much more.
However, just like any other body part, feet have their own set of routine problems, all of which can be fixed if one is inclined to think outside the box.
In addition, your feet have many uses apart from the commonly known ones that may make your life just a little bit better.
Here are 10 foot tricks you must learn.
1. Sticking Your Foot Out from Under Your Blanket May Promote Sleep
Sounds strange, right? Actually, it’s not.
Your body temperature drops at nighttime and contributes to inducing sleep. As you drift into deep sleep, its temperature sinks even lower.
Studies have shown that higher body temperatures are associated with inhibiting sleep.
Higher body temperatures are associated with alertness and increased both mental as well as physical performance, according to a 2002 study published in The American Journal of Physiology.
In fact, the science behind people staying awake after drinking coffee is that the caffeine in it increases the body’s temperature and inhibits sleep, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Biological Rhythms.
Anything that helps you cool down before or during sleep will help you sleep better.
This is where your feet can play a major role. Your feet promote heat loss in two major ways:
- The bottoms of your feet are hairless. Hair promotes heat buildup.
- Your feet have countless special blood vessels called arteriovenous anastomoses that transport blood to the veins located right below the surface of the skin.When you expose your feet to the cooler air outside of your blanket, the blood just below the surface of your skin cools down.This cooler blood is then supplied to the rest of your body via the arteriovenous anastomoses, thereby cooling down your entire body and helping you sleep.
So, if you have trouble sleeping tonight, just stick your feet out and doze away!
2. Blow Drying Can Help Your Feet Break In Tight Shoes
So you recently bought a perfect pair of flats, pumps or stilettos and you cannot wait to try them on. However, the moment you put your feet in, you are met with the wrath of a new pair of shoes. They are excessively tight at the front and hurt bad.
Most people decide to bear the pain and wear them consistently for a week to “break in” the shoes by slowly forcing them to expand a bit.
However, a neat little trick can help you get there faster, and with a whole lot less pain, too.
- Put on a thick pair of socks, then put on your tight pair of shoes.
- Set your hairdryer on medium heat, and heat the fronts of your shoes as you wiggle your toes for 5 to 10 minutes. You can also heat the back of your shoes at the heels for extra stretching.
- Turn off the heat and allow your feet to cool for a minute.
- Take off your shoes, take off your socks, and your shoes are ready to wear again.
The shoes should be nicely stretched out and painless to wear.
3. Use Petroleum Jelly or Deodorant to Prevent Heel Blisters
Often, the abrasive action of the inner sole of your shoes, particularly the heels, rubbing against your feet can leave you with blisters.
Petroleum jelly and deodorant act as soothing agents that minimize the friction in the inner sole of the shoe and prevent it from coarsely grazing your feet.
It’s best to use petroleum jelly on just the heel area, and use deodorant on the rest of the inner shoe. Too much petroleum jelly can compromise the grip of your foot on your shoe.
Also, gently scrub the soles of your feet with a nail file to exfoliate any hard edges that may further irritate and aggravate your skin when it comes in contact with the inner soles of your shoes.
4. Use a Tennis Ball for an Instant Foot Massage
If you don’t have the time or money to splurge on a spa day or a relaxing foot massage, here’s a convenient trick you can try.
Simply rub a tennis ball on the soles of your feet, applying some pressure. Your feet will feel surprisingly relaxed and soothed.
5. Tape Your Toes Together to Reduce Pain
This one is not just for the ballerinas out there. Shoes with pointy toes can strain your toes big time and cause excessive pain.
This is especially a problem with pointy stilettos that cramp your toes into a tiny space, often resulting in highly painful and inflammatory graze wounds and blisters.
However, you can use a neat little trick out of the ballerina’s survival guide and bandage your toes to protect them from injury.
You don’t need to bandageall your toes together, just the third and fourth toes, starting from the big toe.
Here’s how to do this convenient little trick.
- Cut a strip of a medical bandage (preferable) or regular tape that is long enough to go around your toes twice.
- Wrap it around third and fourth toes and wear your shoes like you normally do.
This is not a miracle cure that will prevent all pain, but rest assured, this trick will allow you to move and walk around a lot easier.
6. Fight Foot Odor with Tea Bags
Foot odor is one of the outright disgusting, and extremely embarrassing, problems many people deal with.
When you wear shoes for too long, the sweat combined with the bacterial action result in a foul smell.
However, many times it’s actually your shoes that are to blame for stinking up your feet. The material from which your shoes are made and the texture of the inner lining of the shoe often combines to determine the amount and intensity of the stench emanating from your feet.
When such shoes are left untreated, they continue to stink up your feet each time you wear them. Here’s a simple trick you can try to cure smelly feet.
- Rinse 4 used tea bags under running water for 5 seconds.
- Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Place 2 tea bags inside each shoe, near the toe area.
- Leave the tea bags in the shoes overnight.
You will wake up to odor-free footwear, and consequently happy and fresh feet!
7. Keep a Cold from Creeping Up on You by Applying Vapor Rub to Your Feet
This is a fantastic, tried-and-tested method for those who absolutely need to wash their hair at night or late in the evening when it gets chilly, but fear catching a cold overnight from doing so.
Here’s what you can do to help prevent developing a cold.
- Wash your hair with semi-warm water.
- Blow dry your hair well.
- Then, before you go to sleep, lather the soles of your feet with generous amounts of a vapor rub.
- Put on some thick socks to seal in its therapeutic effect and go to sleep.
You will wake up next morning feeling fresh, and without a cold! It also helps decongest the chest.
8. Use Foot Reflexology to Relieve Menstrual Pain
Foot reflexology is a non-invasive, convenient and inexpensive alternative to medication for a variety of ailments and conditions, including menstrual cramps.
A 2010 study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research notes that students who received regular reflexology sessions reported more reduced intensity and duration of menstrual pain than those who took ibuprofen.
In reflexology, certain points on the foot correspond to certain body organs. When these points are massaged, it culminates into relief in those body parts.
There are ovary and uterus reflexes on the foot that, when stimulated through the thumb-walking technique, provide relief from cramps.
Some women suffer lower-back pain during menstruation. Massaging the lower-back reflexes on the foot might also be beneficial.
9. Buy Your Shoes in the Late Afternoon or Evening for a Better Fit
Buying your shoes early in the morning may cause you fitting problems because your feet have not yet faced much exertion from walking, which naturally generates heat and expands the feet.
Therefore, if you buy shoes in the morning, they may start to feel a little tight come evening.
Here is a simple trick to remember whenever you go out shoe shopping: Make sure you have worked those feet well by walking or exercising, and go later in the day after they have been exposed to exertion and expansion.
A simple trick like this can prevent the pain and discomfort from shoes that felt fine in the morning but too tight at night!
10. Buy the Right Socks
Believe it or not, there are plenty of socks out there that have been designed to serve particular purposes.
Some of them could significantly assist in alleviating your feet woes.
So, next time you go sock shopping, here are some tips to help you choose the right socks. You may have to go to a specialty or high-end store to get them, depending on the market where you live.
- Certain copper socks and antibacterial socks eliminate foot odor.
- Certain anti-friction socks help combat blisters and graze wounds.
- Some socks come with special padding in specific areas, such as the toe and heel areas.
- Some socks provide additional stretching material to support and elevate the arch of the foot.