A trivia question: What is the best exercise for your feet? (The answer can be found at the end of this article.)
The likes of Stephen Hawking, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln have all employed the feet metaphor in some of their most inspiring quotes, underscoring the literal and figurative significance of paying attention to our feet. And yet, so many of forget to do so. This is a shame, as our feet are more fascinating than most of us realize.
Fun Feet Facts
The University of California, Berkeley, has a list of facts about our feet that are worth our time knowing about – not just for the sake of curiosity, but even to better inform how we look after our feet:
- Each foot contains 26 bones (with both feet together having more than one quarter of the body’s total bones); 33 joints; and more than 100 tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
- There are more than 100,000 nerve endings in each foot, which provide sensory feedback to your brain, enabling you to automatically adjust your gait according to your environment to reduce impact forces on your body. Wearing shoes alters this feedback mechanism.
- Each foot has about 125,000 sweat glands, which combined excrete more than a cup of perspiration a day (no wonder feet sometimes don’t smell so good).
- A person who averages 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day (the minimum recommendation for overall good health) will, over a 75-year lifetime, walk the equivalent of circling the world three times.
- During high-impact activity, the forces on your feet can be equal to twice your body weight—or even more.
Additional Bonus Facts
- Toenails take longer to grow than fingernails do. It takes approximately a year and a half to grow an entire toenail. In addition, research shows that being younger, male, and/or a nail biter could all be driving factors in having a faster nail growth rate.
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting an estimated 20.7 million adults in the United States.
- The average American walks 5,900 steps a day. The recommended daily number of steps is10,000, which is approximately five miles.
- Cigarette smoking increases the risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) by several folds and is one of the most prominent risk factors. PAD is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs and usually affects the arteries in the legs, leading to pain and numbness in the lower extremities. In severe cases, PAD may cause infection, gangrene, and lead to leg amputation.
- When our feet are misaligned, the effects can be felt in the muscles in the rest of the body, potentially causing joint pain or even serious injuries. There are two types of foot misalignment: overpronation and excessive supination. Over 75% of the population suffers from foot misalignment.
- Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in sports. Because the inner ankle is more stable than the outer ankle, the foot is likely to turn inward from a fall (ankle inversion) which results in an ankle sprain.
- More than one-third of women in America have bunions, a common foot deformity in which the joint that connects the big toe to the foot gets larger and juts out.
- Both Michelangelo’s David and the Statue of Liberty have Morton’s toes. It’s is a foot condition in which the second toe is longer than the big toe. It is also called Greek foot because the ancient Greeks found it aesthetically appealing and incorporated it into paintings and sculptures.
- The feet can contract an array of nasty diseases from communal showers: Plantar warts, athlete’s foot, and ring worm are just some!
And the answer to the trivia question is walking. Walking contributes to your general well-being and improves circulation and weight control.
Remember to look after you feet. If you’re worried you may have foot health issues, get in contact with Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie today.