Closeup of a woman's feet
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Your Feet Are Gnarly

I never tried polish on my toenails till after college—too busy before then rejecting feminine convention—but once I did, looking down at my brightly or delicately painted toes became one of the great little pedestrian pleasures of my life. I try not to wear shoes that strangle my feet, and you should, too, because your feet, breathing easier, will manifest your kindness in their pretty appearance. Eventually, though, we're all going to lose some elasticity and flexibility in the soft tissues—the tendons and ligaments—of our feet, which can lead to increased stress on the bones, potentially causing them to change shape. And when the bones start to change shape, you're looking at hammertoes and bunions. (All right, don't look at them, but there they are.) A tight Achilles tendon from years of wearing high heels can predispose you to such foot problems, says John Giurini, DPM, associate clinical professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. So don't wear heels when you don't have to, he says. Also, stretch your Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia (the ligament that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot), wear supportive shoes, and if your feet are hurting, consider getting a doctor's evaluation—orthotics can prevent ugly problems from worsening. Orthotics? Take my hand. It won't be easy, but we'll hobble through this together.

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As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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