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Best Ways to Pamper Your Feet

Fitness Walkers and Runners Indulge Their Feet

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Updated April 14, 2014

Fitness walking and running can give the feet a pounding. How can you refresh, revitalize and pamper your feet after a long walking workout, and keep them in the best condition for your next workout?

1. Foot Spa Soak

Foot Spa with Soaking Feet
Wendy Bumgardner © 2012

A nice soak after a long day on your feet (or an intense workout) can help restore the feet. Warm water is soothing, and if you want to soften up calluses or reduce cracks, adding a squirt of dishwashing liquid can reduce bacteria and help moisturize. In a pinch, I have used two plastic bags to soak my feet. But I far prefer a foot spa with jets and bubbles. There are many models available.

2. Salt Soak for Blisters

Epsom Salts
© Pricegrabber

If you have hot spots or blisters on your feet, add a half cup of Epsom Salts, bath salts or even regular table salt to the water in your foot bath. This will dry out the blisters and help toughen your feet. Some people also think it is very refreshing. However, if you use this, be sure to rinse well and then moisturize your feet afterward as it will also dry the skin.

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3. Foot Scrub

Masada Dead Sea Foot Scrub
© Pricegrabber

Use a foot scrub at the end of the soak to gently remove dead skin, sweat and dirt. You want to be gentle, as you don't want to irritate any hot spots. Also, if you are training for a half marathon or marathon, you don't want to remove too much callus as a little helps prevent blisters. There are so many different kinds of scrubs, from sugar to ground grapeseed and bamboo. I prefer ones with natural fragrances or no fragrance rather than fake perfumes.

4. Mint Energizing Foot Cream

Deep Steep Foot Cream
© Pricegrabber

After the soak, keep moisturizing with a foot cream. I like mint lotions that feel energizing as they cool. The moisturizer will help keep calluses soft and prevent cracks. Remember, a little callus is good for distance running and walking. Save the pedicure till after your big event.

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5. Put Your Feet Up

LegLounger
Wendy Bumgardner © 2008

Blood and fluid tends to pool in your lower legs. Lying down with your feet up after a long workout or a long day on your feet helps reduce the swelling. I like having good support under my knees when I put my feet up. While you can certainly use pillows, I liked the Leg Lounger specially designed for this purpose. It adjusts easily for angle and firmness.

6. Foot Massage

Foot Pain
Stockbyte / Getty Images
Now that your feet are clean, continue the pampering with a foot massage. You can give yourself a foot massage or enlist a friend or loved one. Video: How to Give a Foot Massage

7. Home Pedicure

Polished Toenails in Sandals
Wendy Bumgardner © 2013

Do your feet feel better when they are pretty? Our Guide to Beauty has a step-by-step home pedicure guide. Just remember that a little callus is good, so don't go overboard with removing them. You can even paint over a black toenail or that spot where a lost toenail used to be.

8. Slide into the Right Sandals

FitFlop Walkstar III
Courtesy of Pricegrabber
You may be tempted to just put on any old flip flops after your workout. But flat flip flops won't give your feet the support and cushion the need even more after a long day on your feet or the pounding from a workout. You will get more comfort and relief if your flip flops or sandals have the arch support and cushioning you need. Personally, my feet love Fit Flops after a long training day. They don't have as much arch support as some brands, but they massage and cushion my feet in all the right ways.
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