This year, I'm taking small steps, literally and figuratively, toward a more healthful life. Won’t you join me?Written by: Mercedes Marchand, VP of Design at Sockwell
After nearly a decade of studying foot health and designing therapeutic socks, I’ve learned that a healthier you starts in your feet. Because when your feet feel good you feel better, from the inside out.
Every year like clockwork, the post-holiday season brings me face to face with none other than myself. As I reflect on my personal wellness practice and how a healthy mind and body can positively impact the world around me, it only seems appropriate to focus on my favorite limbs as the topic of my very first blog post: legs and feet.
Through decades of effort toward creating the best version of myself and putting new intentions into practice, I’ve found that in order to have a positive impact in the world I have to take care of myself first. And from experience, I understand the importance of taking care of my feet first.
I know what you’re thinking, and it makes me laugh, too. I’m recommending that you literally dive “feet first into 2019”, but it’s with good reason—I promise. Here’s my logic: it’s the simple things we do for ourselves that help each day flow better, which help us to feel better, and ultimately influence how we are with those around us. In other words, what we do care for our physical body impacts our mental state (you know, the mind-body connection), so why not start with the limbs that carry our bodies through each and every day?
Let’s start with a simple question.
Are you putting your feet first?
Here are a few stunning facts to start this conversation with yourself:
- Most Americans will have walked 75,000 miles by the time they turn 50, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
- A sedentary to active person walks up to 10,000 steps a day.
- By age 40, nearly every person has developed a foot condition which can ultimately contribute to additional health concerns.
This data really makes me want to take care of my feet. I’m over 50, even though I feel 29. I consider myself more active than average, so who knows how many miles I’ve actually put on my lower limbs over the years. What’s more, I can personally attest to spending eight or more hours per day, five days a week, at my computer, which conservatively adds up to over 2,000 hours of sitting in year. Without my tried and true solutions, my feet and legs get stiff and swollen after long stretches of product design at my desk. Not to mention the added discomfort after sitting on a plane and driving in my car.
Do you relate? Stiff, swollen feet, legs and ankles from sitting and standing for long periods of time is terrible for your circulation and can cause serious health issues. That’s why I’m saying: we’re diving feet first into 2019.
Here the top three things I do to put my feet first.
I have studied, practiced, and taught Yamuna Body Rolling Methods on and off for decades, and have found nothing more redeeming for the feet than her Foot Wakers and Foot Savers routines. These routines include pairing unique tools with specific activities to help alleviate and prevent foot pain. Don’t have a Yamuna Ball? Check out 9 Foot Exercises via Healthline. All you need is your bare feet and a few everyday objects to start strengthening muscles and soothing achy feet.
Active sitting has become my movement of choice when sitting for hours at the computer. Personally, I don’t love standing desks, and this is a great alternative. For a truly energetic approach to hours of sitting, I use an exercise ball as my chair and wear graduated compression socks. It’s amazing how these little changes help me feel so much better after way too many hours of sitting.
If you’re familiar with the Sockwell brand, you know by now that compression socks no longer mean orthopedic and medical stockings. You can read all about our compression socks here.
Here is how I wear my compression socks in real life scenarios:
- Traveling – I often fly across the country when meeting with our team or visiting friends and family. I always wear firm (20-30mmHg) graduated compression socks when I fly and dress around my socks when I travel. In the case of beach or warm weather travel, I’ll slip them on as I take my seat and pull them off before exiting my flight so I can hit the ground running at my destination.
- City Trekking – my favorite city in the world is New York City. It’s my hometown and I can’t help but visit my old stomping grounds whenever I’m there. To make the miles on my feet more bearable, I pair a well-made boot or sneaker with ultra-light or light cushion moderate compression socks, either in a knee-high, quarter, or micro height, depending on the look I am sporting and the weather.
- Office – for long hours at my desk, I like to mix it up. You’ll often find me with our Plantar Quarter, because sometimes I just don’t want to wear a knee high… especially in the summer! Both styles include stabilizing firm compression in key areas, around the arch and ankle.
- Hiking – one of my favorites ways to enjoy my love of nature is hitting the trails! For hiking, I choose a light trail shoe and pair it with one of our Hike/Outdoor styles, choosing compression level and sock height based on the terrain and difficulty level.
If you spend the better part of your day sitting at your desk or squished into an airline seat, find ways to incorporate “active sitting” and short spurts of movement every hour. On the flip side, if you spend the majority of your day on your feet, make sure you kick your feet up at the end of the day to help restore blood flow and relieve achy feet.
No matter how you spend your days, consider wearing compression socks throughout the day to take a proactive approach to caring for your legs and feet.
Every day is different, but it’s nothing your feet can’t handle. These simple changes can positively impact your day-to-day well-being, influencing your mood and ultimately the energy you project into the universe. When you put your self care first, you put the better you out into the world.
As the designer for the Sockwell brand, I am overjoyed to be creating a product that helps so many people feel just a little bit better (and in some cases, a lot better) every day. And I’m happy to share that as I wrap up writing this post, I feel energized. My feet and legs are pain free, and I’m getting to share information that has improved my well-being with readers like you. It’s a better day, and it’s going to be great year. - Mercedes