HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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If pain persists and healing never comes, you may consider seeing a foot professional such as pedorthist – a professional who has specialized training to modify footwear and use supportive devices to address conditions that affect the feet and lower limbs. Sometimes just changing footwear or having tailored inserts for the feet makes all the difference in comfort and healing. A podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon would determine if the problem necessitates surgery. The podiatrist usually has three or more years of training solely in foot surgery, while the orthopedic surgeon might have five or more years in a broader scope of surgical processes involving bones and joints, not just the feet.


Dr. Leon Brill with North Texas Podiatrists Medicine says you can’t treat just a foot; you have to treat a patient’s whole being. “If I feel they are not getting the right care for their heart or their diabetes, I will make a call,” he said.


Plan a regime for foot care. Consult with someone who is qualified about the best footwear in your particular case. Rest your feet when necessary, stretch them frequently and treat yourself to a massage to keep them limber and active. Feet play an essential role in well-being and must be nurtured for health and longevity. For more information, call Lexington Podiatry at (859) 264-1141 or text (859) 203-4042.



It’s amazing how much the feet have to endure throughout a lifetime. When the feet start to weaken from age, overuse, arthritis and other problems, it’s no wonder a myriad of other issues occur. When the feet aren’t able to do their work, the rest of the body suffers. Inactivity ensues, weight gain follows, mobility and range of motion in joints diminish and it becomes much more difficult for the heart and vascular system to be pushed and strengthened.


The foot is a wonder in itself, with 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles. With so many pieces working in tandem, you’d think the structure would break down more often than it does, but the foot’s biomechanical design is built for durability.


Like the hands, the feet are extremities that play a huge role in survival. They are particularly prone to arthritis and pain. Preventative maintenance for the feet can include regular self-massage and soaking them to relax the muscles and joints and keep articulation. Topical ointments such as BioFreeze or Mineral Ice soothe aches.


Of special concern are the effects of diabetes and wounds that don’t heal properly due to inadequate blood flow. This, along with weakening feet that contribute to falls, is of major concern, especially for the elderly.  

TAKING CARE OF YOUR FEET

Dr. Nicole Freels, FACFAOM, owner of Lexington Podiatry, says yellow, dark, brittle or thick toenails often point to the same thing – fungus. While patients are generally embarrassed about it, it’s incredibly common in people over the age of 60. “If left too long, the infected toenails can often become painful,” Freels said. “The good news is there are treatments available. We have topical, oral or a non-invasive laser therapy. We can also clip and dremel the nails down so they’re easier for you to manage.”


Staying active is important for healthy feet. They are a huge factor in mobility, so keeping them flexible, strong and active is essential. Losing mobility is often the beginning of the end, as weight gain usually ensues, followed by decreased flexibility and waning balance. If you can’t run, activities such as dancing, yoga and martial arts help stretch and strengthen the feet. Many people develop tight calf and lower leg muscles from the daily grind; this, too, can cause foot problems because pain is often referred from those tight muscles into the feet. Sometimes severe foot pain can be as simple as a small muscle tear, an inflamed joint or a stubbed toe.

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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