The 7 Step Secret Guide to Beautiful Feet!

The 7 Step Secret Guide to Beautiful Feet!

The 7 Step Secret Guide to Beautiful Feet!

It’s summer, the sun is shining and it’s warm. I enjoy the sensation of a gentle summer breeze on my feet, of soft grass supporting my arches and love going to the beach and feeling sand between the toes.

Are you the same? Or are you too embarrassed by your feet to take your socks off and go barefoot? Are your feet and ankles swollen and puffy? Are you worried about having tired feet on holiday? I’m about to share with you 7 super simple steps to get your feet back on track so you can enjoy everything the summer has to offer.

My feet look so ugly!

Don’t beat yourself up. We all neglect our feet. It’s so easy to do with busy lives, particularly when they spend the majority of the year hidden away in socks. And let’s face it, feet are funny looking things! Whatever your feet look like, there is a natural way to make them happy & healthy again.

There are several reasons why your feet might be suffering:

        • Standing on your feet for too long.
        • Walking in ill-fitting shoes, crocs or flip flops that don’t support your arches.
        • Walking in dusty warm climates.
        • Carrying extra weight  - this effects circulation in the lower legs and feet, exerting extra strain.
        • Certain medical conditions e.g diabetes.

When fluid accumulates in tissues in the feet and ankles, it’s called edema. While edema usually resolves on its own, there are some natural solutions you can do at home to rapidly reduce swelling, banish hard skin & infections and increase your own comfort.

Dry hard skin builds up easily on your heels in dusty dry climates. If your heels get too dry they can split and crack. I know from personal experience that this can be super painful and can make walking even short distances unpleasant.

I have a 7 STEP guide to get your feet back on track! These steps can be followed at any time of year and are especially ideal during the summer, whether you’re away from home on holiday, or enjoying a staycation in the garden.

Each step is super simple yet incredibly effective to ensure your feet are healthy, nourished, and looking great. The path to beautiful feet starts here!

1. Drink water! 

I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to stay hydrated and the positive impact this has on foot health. This is THE most important advice I can give you. Drink plenty of fluids. When you are dehydrated your body actually holds on to water and retains fluids, usually in places we don’t want it to! This fluid retention leads to swelling, or edema.

Drinking water will encourage your body to flush out toxins and keep your circulatory system working as efficiently as it can.  

Personally I have noticed that when I don’t drink enough water, the area of my inner heel (that in reflexology corresponds to the bladder) becomes slightly puffy and tender. 

2. Do the (ankle) twist.

I’m definitely not recommending that your twist your ankle but it is important to keep stiff joints moving. It’s easy to stiffen up, particularly if you sit or stand in one position for long periods of time (maybe at work or travelling on holiday) and that will have an impact on your circulation and contribute to swollen feet.

Start each day with a good stretch of the muscles in your ankles and feet to keep flexible.

Rotate your ankles, flex your foot and make space between your toes.

If you can, sit back on your heels with your toes tucked under to stretch the plantar fascia. Sit like this with a straight back for a minute, or longer if you are ok with it.  

Be gentle, it’s important to listen to your body and not over-stretch.

3. Move!

During the day if you are in one position for long periods of time, you’re going to seize up, so get up every twenty minutes and move!

 It can be as simple as standing up and flexing your knees and ankles, strolling around the room or going for a two-minute walk around the block.

If you are travelling and can’t move about, for example if you’re on a train or plane, flex your ankles in a circular motion every 20 minutes.

When you get home, or to your holiday destination and have a chance to lie back and relax (maybe on that sun lounger at the beach), prop your feet up on cushions or pillows and raise them above your heart level. If you don’t have anything to hand, use a rolled-up jumper or your beach bag.

Elevating your feet will really help to reduce swelling! While you relax, it’ll also give your heart some exercise, in turn improving circulation. Win win!

4. Natural fibres

Socks and tights are standard winter attire, yet if you have sweaty feet or your feet move around in your sandals, it feels sensible to wear socks during the summer months too. There’s nothing worse than blisters on your heels when you’re walking around the ruins of an ancient city far from home.  

Did you know that 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. Your feet will thank you.

Combine the use of natural fibres with ‘footloose time’. Your feet need fresh air every day.

When you’re at home or back at your holiday accommodation, kick off your shoes and socks and let your bare feet frolic.

Do this for at least 20 minutes a day. This will help reduce sweating and keep fungal and bacterial infections at bay.

5. Cleanse & clear

At the end of the day, soak your feet in a tub of soapy warm water (not hot water as this will dry your skin) with Epsom salts for 20-30 minutes. This will draw out toxins and relax the muscles, reducing inflammation and swelling.

Fill a bucket with enough warm water to cover your ankles. Before you put your feet in, sprinkle half a cup of Epsom salts into the water and stir to dissolve the salts, allowing 10 minutes to make sure all the salt is dissolved and the water is a comfortable temperature.

Use a mild PH-balanced antibacterial liquid soap with essential oils such as Organic Lemongrass & Mint Body Wash Soap or add a few drops of organic tea tree essential oil to also help clear up a fungal infection.

Keep your feet in the water for 20-30 minutes, longer if you have the time. This might seem like a long time, but it passes quickly while reading a good holiday book or binge watching your favourite Netflix series.

Once your feet have softened and feel relaxed, move on to Step 6.

6. Exfoliate & massage

Dry hard skin builds up easily on your heels in dusty dry climates. If your heels get too dry they can split and crack. I know from personal experience that this can be super painful and can make walking even short distances unpleasant.

Avoid cracked heels and achieving soft smooth feet is easy. First, follow Step 5 above. After 20-30 minutes when the skin on your feet has softened, use a natural pumice stone to remove dead skin cells, especially on the heels and balls of your feet.

Exfoliating will also prepare your feet for a daily application of foot cream, which is essential to replace lost moisture and aid in healing cracked heels. I recommend applying Organic Peppermint Reviving Foot Cream last thing at night.  

The peppermint content will stimulate circulation and revive your feet, while the other plant ingredients will help to soften, moisturise and eliminate infection.

Don’t just slap on the cream and leave it though! The lovely thick and plant-based formula of the foot cream is perfect for massaging your feet. If you can ask someone to massage your feet for you it’s absolutely amazing. If you’d rather run a mile than have anyone touch your feet, you can simply massage your own feet by drawing your foot up on to your opposite knee. Now your hands can get to work!

For effective massaging, use firm strokes and pressure in the direction of your heart. This will aid the elimination of lymph fluid out of the area, and in turn reduce swelling, whilst encouraging the absorption of the cream and reviving your feet ready for another day of summer exploring! Do this for a minimum of 5 minutes on each foot, and even longer if you like.

If you want to delve a little deeper and apply the holistic therapy reflexology, take this time to also focus on areas that correspond to other parts of your body that need attention. My feet always appreciate a minute or two on the areas that relate to the diaphragm and bladder.  

NB. Don’t forget to exfoliate between the toes and on the sides of your feet with an effective cloth, such as the Happy Hemp Exfoliating Cloth.

After massaging with the Organic Peppermint Reviving Foot Cream, if your feet need an intensive treatment you can apply a little bit more cream and then pull on your favourite bamboo socks and hop into bed. The socks will lock in the moisture, allowing the therapeutic cream is penetrate your skin all night.

7. Get the right levels of salt, potassium and magnesium

One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is diet; what we eat is also pretty important to foot health too!  Helping ourselves and our health from the inside makes a big difference so here’s one extra thing you can do to give yourself beautiful feet.  

Too much salt in your diet, commonly added to processed foods, can increase water retention and foot swelling.

Conversely, if you are deficient in magnesium or potassium, your body will try to retain fluid. In fact, potassium reduces the water holding effects of high salt intake, so if you’re low in potassium, sodium water retention could be more pronounced.

Before reaching for expensive supplements, opt for nutrient dense healthy foods that will give you a myriad of benefits in addition to magnesium and potassium.

Magnesium-rich foods to add to your diet include:

        • almonds
        • cashews
        • spinach
        • potatoes
        • brown rice

Potassium-rich foods to eat are:

        • dried apricots
        • lentils
        • bananas
        • potato
        • kidney beans
        • orange juice

Thanks for reading my 7 Step Secret Guide to improve the health of your feet.

The above 7 steps will greatly improve the health of your feet throughout the whole year, and especially during hot summer months when you are walking further afield and enjoying the sunshine.

If you have any concerns about your circulatory system or diabetes, please speak with your doctor. Our feet are very good at telling us when something is happening elsewhere in our bodies that need attention, so please don’t ignore them!

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Read more about natural vegan skincare in the I Am Natural Vegan Beauty Journal.