February is American Heart Month and at Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle we want our patients to recognize the importance of a healthy heart for your feet as well as the rest of your body. Good heart health is essential for maintaining an active lifestyle. Staying active keeps your feet in shape and also ensures a healthy weight—another plus for your feet. Being overweight is a contributing factor to many foot conditions. Your heart also impacts your circulation. Poor blood flow to the feet associated with peripheral artery disease, diabetes and other diseases can greatly increase the risk of wounds, infection and even amputation.
Developing a heart-healthy lifestyle needn’t be an overwhelming challenge. Take small steps to get on track and increase your efforts a little at a time. Here are some tips for getting started:
- Keep a food/activity journal. Start by figuring out just where your calories are coming from (and how many you are consuming) as well as how active you are.
- Swap in healthy foods. Replace one high sugar, high fat snack a day with a piece of fruit. Add an extra vegetable to one of your meals. Drink flavored seltzer or water instead of soda or fruit juice.
- Get moving. You don’t even have to start a fitness or exercise program to increase your activity. Choose a parking space farther away from your work entrance. If you have a desk job, get up once an hour and take a quick walk around the office or do a few jumping jacks. Take the stairs instead of elevator. Gradually build up your activity level.
- Spice it up. Try different spices instead of salt to season your food.
- Pay attention to your body. Weigh yourself. Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked. Get in the habit of checking your feet—many times our body lets us know something is wrong through swelling, loss of sensation or other unusual podiatric symptoms.
If you are concerned about anything you’ve noticed lately about your feet or want more information on being proactive in the health of your feet, make an appointment to see our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh in either our Edmond or Norman office by calling: 405-285-7408.