Don’t let your feet take a beating this summer

Uncategorized Jul 28, 2021

In my 6/30 email, I shared how my killer heels taught me an important lesson about walking outside my comfort zone. Foot care is such an important part of overall self-care.

Did you know, for instance, that peri-menopausal and pandemic bodies can change shape? The same is true for your feet: Mine have widened over the years. I learned this the hard way on a two-week vacation in Eastern Europe, pre-pandemic.

Six cities – Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow and Prague – touring on foot, with five to 10 hours of daily walking. That’s 12,000 to 30,000 steps a day. Every day! This is how I had to walk at the end of the day on that trip:

I returned home with a massive heel spur on my right foot and doctor’s orders to stop weight-bearing exercise until my foot heals – no pun intended! After six months, it got better, but then I got plantar fasciitis on my left foot.

I was out of commission for a full year because I had developed a chronic overuse injury.

Why? My sneakers were too narrow for my feet – because they had gotten wider. Also, my orthotics were worn and needed to be replaced. I had no idea that orthotics age with you and need replacing periodically.

Post-Pandemic, after more than a year of other bad foot habits

Like many of you, I spent much of lockdown homebound and barefoot. So it wasn’t totally surprising that after walking for the first time in heels since the pandemic hit, I did the whole “heel wobble walk” while wearing heels at my first live event.

Foot care is part of self-care

Here are some tips to take care of your feet this season:

Inside the house, wear supportive shoes like sneakers or orthopedic shoes like Birkenstocks.

At your standing desk, stand on a cushioned mat. I love my neoprene mat because it provides a lot of support and cushioning for my feet, back, knees and hips. The mat also has raised corners so you can do foot and calf stretches.

Ditch bad-for-you summertime footwear. Flip flops provide no support. Consider adding an insert, secured with Velcro, onto the bottom to provide arch support. I do this with my orthotics onto my fancy Tory Burch flip flops. No one can tell, and my feet stay happy.

In transit to a venue, wear sneakers or comfortable shoes. Keep your dress shoes or “sitting shoes” in a bag and change into them once you arrive at your location.

Remember that at large conference centers such as Las Vegas, you can easily walk 10,000 steps just to get to the venue, then an additional 10,000 inside the venue to get to your meeting. So it’s very important to wear comfy shoes while walking there and then change into work shoes later.

At the venue/event

  • Ladies, choose wedges over high heels whenever possible.
  • We’re starting to see more casual comfy footwear in business settings. Post-pandemic, people are choosing comfort over vanity. The days of suffering for beauty are over.
  • Pack a change of shoes to give your feet a break during long workdays and for evening functions to relieve foot discomfort and pain.

Have a change of shoes for long workouts

  • I dance salsa and west coast swing. I bring two or three pairs of shoes to change into throughout the evening as my feet and body get progressively more fatigued.
  • For salsa, I put on shoes with progressively lower heel heights, then flat jazz shoes toward the end of the evening.
  • For west coast swing, I start in square-heeled shoes and then change into flat dance boots with orthotics inserts.

Pamper your feet at the end of the day

  • Get a foot massage or try a DIY version with golf balls or foot massage balls, which provide relief from foot fatigue
  • Get a pedicure (men, you should, too!) to treat chafed and cracked feet, which are especially common during summer months
  • Make time for a DIY pedicure, using a foot file and soothing foot creams

Save your killer heels as “sitting shoes”, and if you’re going to sit at your desk while wearing those fancy shoes, inject some energy into your day by moving in your chair!

Check out this sneak peek of my four-minute video Seated Yoga Break. It’s available for your hybrid or live meetings, or your employee wellness program.

You can also access downloadable images and instructions for each yoga pose. This is just one of more than 100 videos and downloadable resources inside my Virtual Wellness Lounge.

FYI: Whether your attendees are in comfy shoes or killer high heels, all content is byte-size guaranteed and designed to keep attendees ENGAGED & ENERGIZED at virtual, hybrid and live events. Attendees will leave your conference with actionable, downloadable resources to help them integrate self-care into their workdays once the conference ends!

Click HERE to schedule a Zoom meeting to discuss the Lounge for your upcoming virtual or hybrid meeting (and click HERE for a video tour of the Virtual Wellness Lounge).

Be well,

PS: I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and into social media land. Follow me on social media (I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and into social media land :)


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