February is American Heart Month: #MoveWithHeart

February is American Heart Month: #MoveWithHeart

 

The California Podiatric Medical Association offers tips for healthy feet for Moving with Heart.

 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, it is largely preventable, and there are many things that can be done to help reduce the risk, such as being more active.


Devon Glazer, DPM, President

The California Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA) is proud to join the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Pledge to #MoveWithHeart campaign during American Heart Month.

Participation is easy - just three simple steps:

  • Record a short video of yourself saying, “I pledge to move more for my heart health.”
  • Share it on Twitter or Instagram using #MoveWithHeart or go to www.MoveWithHeartPledge.com
  • Challenge friends and family to #MoveWithHeart

Why pledge?

  1. Research shows that physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, even for those at high genetic risk;
  2. Only about 22 percent of American adults meet the federal physical activity guideline;
  3. Adults should spend a minimum of 2 ½ hours each week doing physical activities that get the heart pumping and lungs a little winded;
  4. Being sedentary or inactive makes one nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease than being active.*

“Physical activity doesn't need to be complicated. It can be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other – walking,” says California Podiatric Medical Association President Devon N. Glazer, DPM.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), regular brisk walking can help to:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve mood and outlook
  • Improve balance and coordination

“Walking is an excellent way for most people to increase their physical activity. Most people are able to walk, and many people with disabilities are able to walk or move with assistive devices, such as canes or walkers. Walking provides the benefits of moderate exercise with very low risk of injury, which makes it a good way to help people who are sedentary become more physically active, because it is easily adapted to fit one’s abilities, needs and schedule. Simple, natural, and inexpensive, walking doesn't require any special instruction, skills, or an expensive gym membership - only healthy feet and a good pair of walking shoes. All things considered, Charles Dickens got it right: “Walk and be happy; Walk and be healthy.”

Painful foot conditions, however, lessen the desire to walk. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 39 percent of American adults said they would exercise more if their feet didn't hurt.

“Healthy feet are vital for mobility. In their lifetime, the average person walks approximately 100,000 miles. But all too often, we do not place the same emphasis on looking after our feet as we do on other parts of our body. Just because they are furthest away from your eyes should not mean you neglect them! Keeping your feet healthy should be part of your daily routine,” says Dr. Glazer, a podiatric physician and surgeon in private practice in Mission Viejo California.

Dr. Glazer offers the following tips to help keep active and feet pain-free:

“1. Keep your feet clean and dry. When you trim the toenails, be sure to cut them straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. People with diabetes should not cut their own nails, but rather, should have a podiatric physician inspect their feet and cut the nails on a regular basis.

2. Inspect your feet daily for signs of skin breakdown. Keep feet moisturized to help prevent dry and cracked skin.

3 Don’t hide “ugly” toenails with polish. A discolored, thick, cracked, or crumbling nail could signal a nail fungus. Applying nail polish to an infected nail could make the problem worse.

4. Exercise your feet. When it comes to stretching, most people overlook the feet, but stretching the tops, bottoms and the Achilles tendon, helps to promote overall foot health.

5. Make sure to wear properly fitting shoes. Wearing comfortable shoes with good support is vital for healthy feet, particularly if you are on your feet for long periods of time. Ill-fitting shoes can cause foot pain, calluses, corns, bunions and more. Shop for shoes at the end of the day to compensate for foot swelling that occurs later in the day and wear the same type of socks or hosiery you’ll be wearing with the shoes. Choose a broad, rounded shoe with plenty of room for your toes and a wide, stable heel. Avoid pointy shoes, which can cramp your toes and cause ingrown toenails and calluses.

6. Know when to see a doctor. Don’t attempt to self-treat painful foot woes. Any pain, redness, swelling, or discoloration that persists should be checked by a podiatric physician. Allowing a podiatric physician to examine your feet will help prevent minor problems from becoming major ones.”

To find a local licensed podiatric physician visit www.calpma.org.

 Founded in 1912, the California Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA) is the leading and recognized professional organization for California’s doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs). DPMs are podiatric physicians and surgeons, also known as podiatrists, qualified by their long and rigorous education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and structures of the leg.

 

CPMA, keeping Californians on their Feet – Healthy, Active, and Productive

 

*National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 2015.