You are busy. You have been busy. This year has really been something, huh? Well you made it through and may be thinking about New Years' Resolutions. You may just be hoping next year is better and your goals and aspirations may not even be that high given all that has happened. 

So, while you are working hard during the holiday season, there are actually a few things to do that not only will help you be healthier and function better now but they are some things that can help you to start of 2021 right. Whether your goals are to be less stressed, to be healthier, to lose weight, your foot health is tied into that. We all know that foot pain can hold up any of our plans.

Here is a list of things that I highly recommend you slowly add to your regular routine, both in preparation of the new year and to finish 2020 out strong!

1. Focus on hydration

Drinking enough water has so many benefits. 8 glasses of water is the standard recommendations, this equates to 64 ounces. Now, if you are exercising, that needs to be even higher to ensure you are replacing all of the lost water from sweating. I definitely find myself going through phases of being really good at drinking water throughout the day and slacking. However, I will say that having a good water bottle makes a HUGE difference. My favorite water bottle is one that I have replaced (for the exact same) several times. I may have even considered stock piling some to make sure I can always have it. What's so great about the water bottle? Several things. First, the volume. My water bottle is 32 ounces. That's half of 64 ounces. That means on a regular day I only have to fill it twice. Easy=not hard to be compliant. Second awesome thing about my water bottle is that it has a little finger handle. So when my hands are full I dont have to worry about dropping it or not being able to carry it. The third awesome thing is that it has a wider straw and mouthpiece. That means I can take more gulps with less effort and I can drink faster. The fourth benefit of my water bottle is that while the volume is large, it fits in the cupholder of my car. When combining this with the fifth benefit being that it doesn't leak, it means I can have this in my car, tip it over and I won't make a mess. I'd say the only downside is that when it gets warm in a car, I get splashed in the face with water - but that's just physics so I adjust as needed.

2. Wear supportive shoes and/or boots. For regular, but extended walking, flat shoes or uggs will be your enemy. Having a shoe that is built well and has good support means that your feet won't become fatigued. Shoveling snow, hiking in the snow or just walking on a sidewalk that might be icy can result in anything from tendinitis, to plantar fasciitis, to even a sprain or fracture. Again, flat shoes without support won't be on your side and are less likely to keep you from hurting yourself. Nobody wants to start the year off with an injury. Being cooped up in the midwest winter months is bad enough, not being able to do anything is another.

3. Whatever you decide to do, take it in steps. Whether you are thinking about starting an exercise program or you are going to start a new hobby, give yourself some grace. If we take on any one thing all at once, or more likely, when we don't remember that everything is accomplished once at a time we get overwhelmed. Our body can have the same thing happen. And the older we get, the less change it takes to cause an injury or pain. 

4. Stretch. Even if you are not trying to run or get in shape/lose weight. Stretching can be very therapeutic. It's a time when you slow down and if you have the right music on, stretching can lead to meditation. As we get older, some things seem to stiffen up. If we stay active, that helps, but stretching is just as important. If you don't think you know how to stretch, look up some videos. Or, better yet, join in a few classes of yoga until you get the hang of it. You may decide to stay.

5. Remember as the holiday season arrives and passes to make your own magic. It's all find and well to  think of others. During this time of year, that is part of what brings us joy. Don't forget about yourself though. I'm sure if you have others you are out shopping for or thinking about during this season, there are those same people thinking about you. That being said, in the end, you will always have you. So make sure you get to know yourself. Take a day to go somewhere by yourself. Journal or meditate. Find something new to learn or do that you haven't before. Try something out that scares you (as long as it is safe). Put yourself out there and see how you can grow. No matter what you do, go forward confidently and you may be surprised what you find out about yourself.

So while this whole article wasn't about feet specifically, your feet physically will take you where you need to go. The better they feel, the more you can do what you want with your life. Treat them well (there are no least not yet) and they will help you accomplish all that you desire. And remember, of course. If you should find that your feet are talking back to you or resisting change, our office is just a call away. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help get you back on course for a wonderful life.