Podiatrist James Baird, D.P.M. will be the featured speaker at the Barrington Area Council on Aging’s sixth annual awareness luncheon at Makray Memorial Golf Club coming up on Thursday, November 7th and all are invited. (CLICK HERE to register.) He’ll reveal ways we can all have “Fabulously Fit Feet” by making smart decisions about footwear and foot care.
Dr. Baird’s podiatry practice, Family Foot & Ankle Specialists, has been helping people of all ages maintain healthy feet since 2005. Dr. Baird has been involved with BACOA since 2006, and currently serves on the organization’s board.
This year, Dr. Baird was honored to be asked to speak at BACOA’s awareness event. He looks forward to sharing all of his tips during his presentation this week, but has offered us a sneak peek.
Dr. Baird’s 5 Moves to keep your Feet Fit and Fabulous
1. Buy the correct size shoes! 80% of us are wearing the wrong size shoes.
When was the last time your feet were measured? Your shoe size increases throughout the day, so it’s best to shop for shoes in the evening. And since shoe sizes vary so much from brand to brand, you really do need to try on each prospective pair.
“Many people have one foot that’s slightly larger than the other,” Dr. Baird notes. “So be sure to accommodate the larger foot.” Dr. Baird recommends going to a shoe store to be fitted, and suggests Young Tootsies, the Barrington Running Company, and the Walking Company as good local options. “Nordstrom is also great for selection and service.”
And a word of caution to all would-be Cinderellas out there: squeezing into too-small shoes can lead to hammer toes, bunions, and corns–not very ladylike, right?
2. Have a great house shoe. Going barefoot all day will lead to problems with your feet.
It always feels good to slip off your shoes when you come home. Just don’t stay barefoot too long: Dr. Baird warns that spending too much time standing on hard surfaces can lead to pain and inflammation.
“The plantar fascia, which connects the heel bone to the toe bones, exists to support your foot’s arch,” Dr. Baird says. “When you stand on hard, flat surfaces, it can strain the ligament, causing plantar fasciitis.”
When looking for a house shoe, Dr. Baird suggests you focus on arch support and rubber soles. And don’t look to flip flops: they lack arch support, and can cause heel pain.
3. Use a Pumice Bar weekly and apply a good foot cream daily.
Dr. Baird knows that beautifying foot treatments aren’t high on many people’s to-do lists. Taking the time to slough off dead, dry skin is important, though: “If you don’t, you can develop calluses and cracked heels, which can become infected,” Dr. Baird says. Besides, who wants feet like Velcro, anyway?
Exfoliation can also reduce skin discoloration, evening out skin tone and improving appearance.
4. Try a Pilates class. The exercises will help improve circulation and strengthen your feet.
One place Dr. Baird does suggest you go barefoot is at a Pilates class. “If you’re having foot pain, Pilates stretches can be really effective for improving the existing pain, and preventing further injuries,” Dr. Baird says.
There are 26 bones, 33 joints, and 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons in our feet–and if one’s strained, the others will hurt too.*”Pilates stretches and strengthens, so it’s an excellent way to keep the body in balance,” says Dr. Baird.
You can find a great audio slideshow demonstrating Pilates foot stretches here.
5. If you have pain in your feet or ankles, have it evaluated by a Podiatrist sooner rather than later.
“Many foot problems can be avoided if you get the proper treatment before permanent damage occurs,” says Dr. Baird. As with many health concerns, letting a condition progress too far can make treatment difficult and less effective.
Dr. Baird suggests making an appointment with a Podiatrist once every few years, even if you don’t notice any issues. “We can take a look at your foot’s structure, evaluate changes, and create a plan to keep your feet as healthy as possible as you age.”
Dr. Baird hopes to see you at the BACOA event – bring a friend and all of your foot-related questions!
“Fabulous You: Fabulously Fit Feet”
Thursday, November 7; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Makray Memorial Golf Club, 1010 S. Northwest Highway, Barrington
CLICK HERE to register.
BACOA’s sixth annual Awareness Luncheon will feature Dr. James Baird, of Family Foot & Ankle Specialists, who will discuss how to get in step with the right shoes and the best care for your feet. Bring a friend or make some new ones! Sponsored by Whitehall of Deerfield. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets online and visit BACOA.org for more information about the Barrington Area Council on Aging.
Dr. Baird and his staff look forward to serving your family’s podiatric needs.
Family Foot & Ankle Specialists
We are pleased to welcome Dr. James Baird, and Family Foot & Ankle Specialists, as the latest members to join the Barrington Online Marketplace here at 365Barrington.com.
To learn more from Dr. Baird about keeping your feet healthy, CLICK HERE to find the Family Foot & Ankle feature page we just published in our Marketplace. To peruse all of our existing Marketplace member features, visit 365Barrington.com/Marketplace. To follow the latest members to join our Marketplace, visit 365Barrington.com/Buzz. And if you’d like to become a featured member of our Marketplace, visit 365Barrington.com/advertise.