We don’t need to tell you that our bodies go through significant changes as we get older. Our metabolism slows down, our hair often gets thinner and our skin isn’t as firm as it once was. Not surprisingly, your feet also undergo some changes as you get into your wonder years. Below, we take a look at some of the common ways our feet change as we age, and what you can do to keep your feet healthy for years to come.
Aging And Your Feet
Here are a number of different things that can happen to your feet as you get older:
Your feet tend to spread a little after decades of stress, which is why it’s important to always have your feet measured when you buy new shoes. Don’t assume because you’re an adult that your foot size will remain unchanged.
The fatty cushion on the heel often flattens a bit, leaving you more susceptible to heel bruises or fractures from acute trauma.
The skin on your feet becomes thinner and less elastic, which may lead to more cuts, cracks or infections.
Circulation slows, especially if you have peripheral artery disease or diabetes. Talk with your doctor about ways to ensure you are getting proper circulation in your feet.
Ligaments and tendons tend to loosen, which can lead to ankle instability or fallen arches.
Your toenails often get thicker and more brittle, so take care when you’re trimming your nails.
Some of these changes are uncontrollable, but others are brought on by more than just aging. For example, obesity can contribute to a number of changes in your feet, as can unregulated medical conditions, like diabetes. However, you can prevent or at least slow down these changes by maintaining a healthy weight, making good dietary choices, getting regular exercise, partaking in balance and foot strengthening programs like yoga or Pilates, and by actively managing any other health conditions.