Why Adequate Foot Care Is Important

Your feet may seem like the last part of your body that needs nourishment and care. After all, they can withstand the daily beating of walking, standing and running. The years of use have made them hard and resilient to sharp rocks, burning, sun-scorched sand and ill-fitting heels.

When there are cuts, bruises and blisters on the feet, they seem to heal quickly, though the process may be uncomfortable.

It is during these times of healing that we realize how important our feet are and that it doesn’t take much to temporarily hinder their proper functioning.

More serious injuries such as a broken leg or foot, can greatly affect our quality of life by making us partially immobile.

Our feet are important, and so often we take the health and proper functioning of our feet for granted. It doesn’t take much, however, to hinder or take away our ability to stand and move.

Much of the common foot ailments are the result of poor foot care, often in the form of ill-fitting shoes. Another cause of common foot issues is bacteria build-up and poor toenail care.

Taking care of your feet is important. Here are some reasons why:

Prevent disease and infections
Prevent injury
Provide proactive treatment for possible, foot issues

What is Adequate Foot Care

Taking care of your feet may sound easy, and it is, which means that anyone can do it, anytime.

Here are some ways you can take care of your feet:

Do a foot self-exam. Spend two minutes or less physically examining each foot. Look for any lesions, sores, cuts, bruises, etc. Then rub and apply pressure to various parts of the foot, feeling for knots or sensitive areas.

Wear properly-fitting shoes. Be sure to have shoes that aren’t too small. Shoes that are too small can cause bunions, calluses and issues with the toenails, among others.

Avoid wearing high heels when possible. If you’re at a party or in a business dress office, there are foldable flats that you can whip out of your purse and wear in place of the heels.

Wear socks. If your feet are prone to excessive moisture, or you’re about to work-out, wear cushioned, moisture-wicking socks to avoid blisters and bacteria-ridden, smelly feet.

Thoroughly clean your feet every day. A day of being in warm, confined shoes can make the feet smelly, sweaty and bacteria-ridden.

Proper cutting of toenails. Clipping one’s toenails can be like pulling teeth. It can be tedious, and depending on the conditions of one’s toenails, downright gross. However, toenails and toenail bed will have lower risks of breakage, chipping and injury if the toenails are properly cut short.

Have foot powder handy. Foot powder is essential for anyone with an active lifestyle or who has issues controlling the overabundance of sweat and odor.

Regularly massage your feet. After self-examining your feet, a firm, but gentle massage of one’s feet can work out the kinks, knots and stiffness of the feet. Plus, your feet work hard each day. Reward them.

Your feet are important and essential for everyday living. The routine care of them will help protect them from injury and disease and keep them functioning properly for many more years to come.

Learn to Relax and Have Fun Playtime Outdoors

Connect with nature and get your regular dose of natural stress relief while you’re at it! This we should memorize as a daily mantra.

I talk a lot about getting outdoors to move, do your exercise and have fun while you are at it. Most of us don’t follow my advice, sometimes (because of work); I don’t follow my own advice. But I try damn hard to, because I know how much better it makes me feel.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is not just about eating healthy food (if you know what that is) and working out all the time. It’s about being aware of your life and moments throughout your day, and it’s about taking time for you, relaxing, doing fun things alone or with family and friends. The more time you spend focusing on your inner well being and the more you look after you, the better you are going to feel. This will result in a more “productive you” at work and a more “fun you” to be around. People who don’t get out, just stare at a screen all day and night, nor make an effort on weekends to break the mould and do something different, are mostly bitter people who think they have all the cards stacked against them and things are unfair. Well, they don’t at all; they stack them that way with their own self-destructive behaviour. Get out and make an effort!

As a Health Coach with my own story of recovery from depression and being overweight, I can really attest to this being a major factor in the process of getting well again and finding that healthy lifestyle, for real.

Many of us think we are healthy, maybe because you hit the gym every day, or think you eat loads of salad. Not so fast, too much hard exercise actually harms your overall health and well being. What we need is a good dose of balance with everything we do.

But first we need to draw up a menu of everything we “should” be doing and check it daily and weekly to make sure are doing it right.

That menu should include:

Eat well (and I mean follow the keto diet to become ketogenic). This will in itself become a lifestyle habit for you that you will not want to break. Once you learn how to achieve this and get there, it’s the most amazing feeling.
Workouts and Fitness Routines need to be carefully coordinated so that you do not over exercise, as so many people do everyday worldwide. Your whole body fitness program may need a total adjustment.
Set up an “efficient” cardio and weight training program, but do not over exercise.
Schedule alone time in your calendar for reading and meditating.
Schedule Play and Fun time alone or with friends and family.
Make sure you breath take note of what’s going on during your day while you are living it, or you may just miss it and become automated. This is MINDFULNESS; we need to adopt a mindful mind. This will help you take more enjoyment out of any given situation and deal with difficult ones more effectively.

That said, as a Health and Fitness Coach this is how I spend my weekend beach time, because I just don’t like to sit still for too long. After 30 minutes of sunbathing and reading I get antsy, so I decided to have some fun and create a simple and fun beach workout. Nothing much to it, but it will keep you true to your primal health coaching program movement plan for the day and you will have fun while at it. You could just go for a swim, but that would be boring…

Move intuitively and be creative. Take any and every opportunity you come across for this type of thing. Believe me, these moments happen a lot but are often lost as we are too busy thinking about what’s next.

The Role Of The Brain In Addiction

Technology has its mighty hand over every field in the world now. And since the base of technology is science, so how could medical sector not undergo changes! Neuroscience has always been an area of immense complexities and curiosities. Advances in this sector has allowed doctors to dig deeper into the brain and even study minutest of changes that happen due to substance intake.

When we talk about addiction as a brain disease, the reward system of the brain plays a very important role.

Physiologically, limbic system is the brain’s reward system. Mesolimbic and mesocortical pathways (Mid-brain) have our cognitive control and functions which would be both reward related and aversion related. Reward related functions are always stronger and more motivating than aversion, hence drug abuse behavior is stronger in addicts. The reward system connects certain structures in such a way that they generate the feeling of pleasure for certain behaviors or stimulus given to the body. In day-to-day life, it is activated by healthy, life-sustaining activities like eating and socializing. But ‘Drug Abuse’ is another behavior that generates euphoria, which is enjoyed by the mind. And human nature is to repeat those actions that give us some definite satisfaction. The limbic system does more than just giving a reward response. For any behavior to be reinforced, it has to be first registered as pleasant to the mind and body. Limbic system in the brain recognizes our positive and negative emotions, which very well explains, how our body and mind get dependent on any psychoactive mood altering substance.

However, with recent developments, neurobiology has been able to study how addiction is related to the brain. Researchers and scientists studied the brain’s reaction to different substances and discovered that drug abuse actually alters the chemical makeup of the brain, which is what causes addiction and they named it as a ‘Brain Disease.’

Since the brain is placed as the epicenter of human activity, it is the initiation point of every phenomenon that occurs. Whatever we feel, experience or think, all is first registered by the brain and within lesser than nanoseconds, it commands us to act. It communicates through neurons, neurotransmitters, receptors and transporters. Yes, it is very complicated and sounds mystical too (specially to people like me who have not studied biology after high school)

How do Drugs Affect the Brain?
Psychoactive substances interrupt with the communication systems of the brain. They interfere with the way a message is transmitted and sent to its defined destination. No matter how much people say that cannabis would not be called a drug, it is a plant, but the reality remains unchanged, which is, that everything has certain chemical composition. For example, Heroin and Marijuana’s chemical structure are like copies of a natural neurotransmitter. Amphetamines mimic catecholamine neurotransmitters, causing general physiological changes which prepare the body for physical activity and fight-or-flight response. So, the moment the body is intoxicated with a drug containing amphetamines or its derivatives, it starts reacting in unnatural ways by raising blood pressure, increased alertness resulting in sleeplessness, blood glucose levels. They can easily activate neurons, giving various directions to the body to react in a different way, than would a natural neurotransmitter would! Cocaine can make a person delirious, because it releases natural neurotransmitters in bulk and blocks the natural recycling process of neurotransmitters by the brain. Amphetamine causes drug tolerance very quickly and rapidly too.

Chronic addictive drug use causes alterations in the process by which information from a gene is used to synthesize a gene product- RNA or Protein. Nigrostriatal Pathway is a dopaminergic pathway that plays an extensive and unavoidable role in addiction. It comprises of Transcription Factor, which is a protein that controls what all information has to go from the DNA to the messenger RNA. Psychoactive substances block, many of the neural and behavioral alterations that are to be taken to the RNA. Altered dopamine transmission is the first thing that comes to notice in cases of drug abuse.

These have been many studies extensively done by medical science researchers on addiction. There is a wide range of chemicals that people use to reach a euphoric state. But the gist of it all is, that they play with the normal functioning of brain by altering the natural chemicals that ought to be there.

How Does the Reward System Work?
Whenever a person happens to do something that takes him to a different state of mind for a while, like reaching the oomph point in a sexually pleasurable activity, treating the taste buds with a new and a very different flavor or winning an excessive amount of money or any other valuable resource that he could use to be really rich, the brain takes it all in the same way. It activates the same gland and releases the same chemical Dopamine, which functions as a neurotransmitter, in all scenarios that seem to be pleasurable or exciting. Similarly, whenever the body receives an antibody that becomes too exciting for it like any drug, chemical or alcohol, the body releases certain amount of dopamine or cuts down its level. It is a problematic scenario is there is too much or too little of dopamine released by the brain. Drugs are addictive because they release up-to 10 times more dopamine than a natural neurotransmitter can! But when the body gets tolerant to the same drug and its amount, it can even cut down its normal release of dopamine!