6 Ways to Get Happy, Healthy Feet

Ericka McConnell/Fitness MagazineEricka McConnell/Fitness MagazineFrom the editors of FITNESS Magazine

From strengthening to massaging, fixing blisters and even icky odor, we've got tips for taking care of your feet.

Related: Post-Workout Feet Treats

Help! What can I do about my sweaty feet?
First, try spraying them with antiperspirant, and keep them bare (or in sandals) as often as possible. Choose leather shoes and absorbant cotton socks. "If that doesn't help,ask your doctor about Drysol, a prescription antiperspirant," suggests Mervyn Elgart, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Or try Drionic (from www.drionic.com) a device that uses a low battery current to temporarily plug sweat glands.

I have bad foot odor, and nothing seems to help. Could I have some sort of fungus?
It depends on what your feet look like. If you also have scaling or peeling on the soles or between your toes, you probably have athlete's foot -- the most common foot fungus, according to Dr. Deborah Jaliman, an NYC-based dermatologist. Try using an over-the-counter antifungal powder, and if you work out, change your sweaty socks immediately afterward (you can also keep feet drier by wearing socks made of a wicking fabric like CoolMax). Also, make sure that your shoes fit properly -- if they're too tight, you may get blisters, which can increase the chance of a fungal or bacterial infection. If that doesn't help, talk to your doctor about a prescription antifungal medication, either topical or in pill form. If your feet look perfectly fine but just smell bad, it's probably due to an overgrowth of bacteria-try an antibacterial soap (like Dial) and wash them well with a washcloth.

Related: Don't Sweat It: Tips to Control and Reduce Sweat

Is there any way to blister-proof my feet when I'm running?

There's no way to totally prevent blisters, but you can stave them off, says Spencer Casey, senior manager at the New York Running Company in New York City. He suggests trading cotton socks for sweat-wicking ones made with Coolmax or Nike Dri-FIT. "Cotton traps moisture, which causes the friction that creates blisters," he says. He also suggests putting baby powder or BlisterShield (found at running specialty stores) on your feet pre-run.

3 Moves to Soothe Seriously Stressed Feet
Massage
Place your fingers under the sole of your right foot. Press down wherever you feel extra tension and hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides.

Strengthen
Jillian Hessel, a Pilates instructor based in Los Angeles, suggests this move: Sit on the edge of a chair; place a pencil on the floor under your right foot with the point toward your right pinkie toe. Flex your ankle, lifting everything but your heel. Fan your toes apart and drum toes one at a time over the pencil, starting with your pinkie toe. Grip the pencil with your toes and pick it up, then place it back down on the floor. Repeat 5 times; switch sides.

Related: The Healthy, Pretty, Pain-Free Foot Guide

Stretch
Lie on your back with your right foot on the floor. Bend your left leg, keeping hands behind knee. Flex your left foot, slowly pointing it, reaching through your toes, then curl toes into a "fist." Flex your ankle, then slowly uncurl toes. Repeat 5 times; switch sides.

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