Happy Feet In The Winter

warm feet                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         As the frigid winter settles down in the Midwest, we all would like to just sit by the fire and sip on hot chocolate until it warms up. Unfortunately the world around us doesn’t stop during the winter months and neither do we. As we bundle up this winter it is important to remember our feet as well. Cold conditions have significant implications for foot health. It is extremely important to keep your feet warm and dry in the winter months in order to ensure healthy feet. Things to consider are: *Proper insulation rating for your boots *Ensuring your boots have  been water proofed *Making sure your boots are breathable.  For more information on how to keep your feet happy this winter and other usefwarm feetul tips, visit http://www.bigskyfishing.com/snow-boots/keep-feet-warm and stay warm!

Electric blankets are a great way to stay warm at night and keep those toes toasty.  However, they also hold an inherent risk which can lead to complications, as well as the product.  Often, the heat provided by the blanket cannot be fully felt unless you’re fully under the cover.  If warmth is only judged by a simple touch, you can easily miscalculate the heat given off and that can lead to serious consequences.

Today’s electric blankets are designed to perform at a low wattage, which lowers the risk of fire or damage resulting from use.  However, this also means your perception from touching a blanket, will not give you an accurate idea of the heat the electric blanket is actually giving you.  Increasing your heating index on an electric blanket can inflate your risk to getting a burn or a fire.  Nerve damage due to diabetes or other complications can also further the possibility that someone using these blankets can miscalculate the warmth given off and can put you at serious risk.

So as you prepare to snuggle in this evening, remember the best way to lower the danger of heated blankets is to judge warmth provided by getting under the covers rather than simply touching these blankets.  Electric blankets are designed to hold warmth over hours at a time.  Although it’s difficult to perceive, it is important to trust the instructions provided.  Too many factors are at play to make that method a trustworthy way to judge the warmth and effectiveness of an electric blanket.

blanket feet

My achy, breaky….feet?

Sing! Now don’t go breaking up with your feet!



And please do not mistake this feature on foot arthritis just for the plus 60 crowd.

Dr. Jason Theodsakis, assistant professor at the University Of Arizona, College Of Medicine, and a specialist in sports and preventative medicine, says that everyone, especially the older you get will experience some form of arthritis. It starts presenting itself in your 30’s and 40’s. Ever squat down and hear a “snap, crackle, pop?” Yes. That’s the beginning stages of arthritis.

Is it becoming harder for you to walk a great distance? Are your feet stiff in the morning? Have they “locked up” on you recently? All of these are symptoms of foot arthritis. What can you do to prevent this? Here are a few tips:
1. drink plenty of water
2. lose weight or maintain your weight
3. exercise (swim, if you’re in a great deal of pain)
4. take your vitamins
5. stretch your toes
6. wear proper footwear

Pay attention to your feet, it’s hard to move without them.

“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” ~Marilyn Monroe


Pay attention to the words, “the right shoes”, not ill-fitting shoes. That would be a fashion faux pas, right? 75% of people wear the wrong shoes, according to David G Armstrong, professor of Surgery at the William M Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago.

What’s best you ask? Barefoot! Research has concluded that people were healthier before the invention of shoes! A South African study in the podiatry journal The Foot, in 2007, studied 180 modern humans from three different population groups (Sotho, Zulu, and European) and compared them to 2,000-year-old skeletons. The Zulu, who often go barefoot, had the healthiest feet of the modern humans.

Ok, so you don’t have to really go barefoot, but ditch the heels from time to time and replace them with shoes that have little to no flexion (ie: when shopping for shoes, if you can fold it, it’s not a good shoe. Put it down and try again). Your body will thank you later!

Building Progress

VV Office Photo

New office building progress! Our new address will be 505 Valley View Drive, Suite 1, Moline. Stay tuned for more updates as the build continues.

Tips to prevent foot swelling during air travel

With the upcoming Labor Day holiday; many will be traveling by plane. Here are some tips to help ensure that your feet can enjoy the trip as well!

  • Remember to watch your diet. Foods with a high salt content can certainly lend to swelling in your feet. Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your system   flushing out any additional toxins
  • Secondly, walk around. Getting up several times during your flight will give your feet the exercise needed to keep them energized, and the blood flowing properly.
  • Try to store your carry-on bag overhead. Certainly it is more convenient to have it at foot, but your feet really don’t want to fight for the space
  • Avoid crossing your legs. This is just another way to reduce the blood flow restriction to your feet, and continuing ample circulation.
  • Finally; try to wear more comfortable shoes. Slip-on shoes work the best because that can easily be removed and allow you to wiggle those toes and even give your feet a soothing massage.

So where ever your next destination may be; we wish you a safe and comfortable flight!

air flight





Don’t forget the sunscreen for your feet

feetinsandCases of Skin Cancer are on the rise, and many people don’t include their feet as potential targets. It is important to remember to include the tops of your feet when applying sunscreen. The skin on top of your feet is very sensitive and vulnerable to burn.

Be sure to use an SPF value of 15 or higher and re-apply frequently. If you prefer a more natural approach; there are now tinted mineralized zinc products available. Seek out your local natural food and products store for more information. By all means DO NOT apply a sunscreen that has expired. Once this product reaches its expiration mark; the formulation designed to protect you has fallen apart. In many cases it can even lead to additional issues such as skin irritation and rash.

Summer is the best time to show off those happy and healthy feet. Make sure you do so responsibly.

Bad habits are hard on feet too!

feet  Smoking causes peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. A plaque substance builds up in your arteries, often affecting the arteries that run down the length of the legs to the feet. It becomes difficult for blood to reach the feet as the arteries become stiff and narrow. Leg pain and wounds are symptoms that are slow to heal, but in many cases, PAD doesn’t alert the sufferer with signs or symptoms. Being overweight can also cause problems. Overweight and obese people may experience problems with the weight-bearing parts of the foot. As more weight is forced upon the feet, the muscles, tendons and ligaments holding up the arch become stressed and weakened. In time, if these structures are not protected, they will allow the bones and joints of the feet to shift and collapse. This causes the arch to become painful and even flat. This will lead to pain not only in the feet and ankles, but will also be painful for the shins, knees, hips and lower back.   An adult who has a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight according to the Center for Disease Control. Being obese is defined as a body mass index of 30 or more. Beyond the foot pain caused by being overweight, obesity is also associated with diabetes. This disease by itself causes a myriad of other foot problems as well. Working with a nutritionist or physician who specializes in medical nutrition and fitness to create a healthy diet and help you develop an exercise plan can help to maintain a healthy weight.

Exercises for your feet!

These are exercises to keep your feet and ankles flexible and relaxed.  The exercises below should be done while you’re seated.


  • Focus on relaxing the muscles in your feet, one at a time.  Take deep, relaxing breaths.  Wiggle your toes.
  • Gently stretch your feet out and point your big toes forward.  Next point your toes straight up.  Alternate these stretches.  Press down gently on the balls of your feet and pads of your toes; lifting your heels.
  • Roll the bottom of your foot around connecting the points of your foot in a circular order, heels, the right side, toes, and left side. Repeat several times, then do the same with the opposite foot.
  • Massage your feet with your fingers and thumbs.

Healthy feet are happy feet!

beach feet

Everyday tips to take care of your feet

Our feet take us everywhere we need to go and as such, we should take care of them.  It isn’t difficult to set up a good foot care routine.  Following the items below will help prevent some of our most common foot problems.

  • Wash your feet with soap and water to make sure you get in and between toes. For extra pampering, soak your feet once a week in warm water with a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil.  Use a pumice stone to gently exfoliate dead skin cells.
  • After washing, towel-dry your feet thoroughly. (Moisture between toes is a major cause of athletes’ foot).
  • Moisturize feet with a natural moisturizer.  Some brands are scented with mint or peppermint oil and others come in a rub-on stick, so they moisturize without making feet slippery.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and consider alternating pairs.  Don’t try to squeeze into a shoe that’s a half size too small, just because they’re just the style you like and on sale!  Also, having a spare pair to allow you’re the perspiration in your shoes to completely dry out for a day or so.