(ARA) – Standing in long checkout lines, climbing up and down ladders to hang decorations, staying on one’s toes so the kids (or the spouse) don’t find where their gifts are hidden–it takes some fancy footwork to stay on top of things throughout the holidays. Even the healthiest among us can wind up with sore, tired feet at the end of a long day leading up to the holidays.
“Eight out of 10 American adults have experienced foot pain due to uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA),” says Brendan Leonard of Health Enterprises, makers of therapeutic products. “Compound uncomfortable shoes with lots of hours on your feet dealing with holiday demands, and sore fee can really dampen your holiday spirit.”
Who wouldn’t love to have their tootsies pampered a little bit at this time of year? Gifts that make the feet feel good are sure to make the whole person connected to those feet feel pretty happy, too. This season, consider giving a gift that soothes two of the most overlooked and underappreciated parts of the body. Here are four foot-friendly gift ideas to get you started:
Pedicure. Having your feet and nails cared for by someone else can be a relaxing experience that leaves feet looking and feeling great. Professional pedicures can be inexpensive for a basic trim and polish. Or, for a bit more money, you can add in foot and leg massages, and paraffin or other skin-softening treatments. A pedicure can be a one-size-fits-all gift, and is appropriate for everyone from your best friend to your grandmother. Even guys can enjoy the treat, as many salons and spas now offer pedicures designed to pamper men’s feet.
Foot massage. A foot rub can be the ultimate way to decompress after a stressful and tiring day. Or, you can start your day with an invigorating massage. You can give the gift of a good foot massage in several ways, such as a gift certificate to a spa or massage professional. Or, make the good feelings last even longer by giving a home massager, such as the Acu-Life Therapeutic Foot Massager, which has the APMA Seal of Acceptance. Favored by many Major League Baseball and NFL trainers, the massager features a hollow tube that can be filled with hot or cold water for a more therapeutic massage that addresses different kinds of foot pain. The massager is available at Walgreens drug stores, and you can learn more about it online at www.healthenterprises.com.
Lovely lotions. It doesn’t take much for overworked, tired feet to become dry, cracked and uncomfortable. Nearly three quarters of Americans suffer from dry, rough, cracked or irritated skin, the APMA reports. More than any other part of the body, the foot cries out for soothing moisture. You can find quality lotions, polishers and foot scrubs in in stores or online, and look for ones that offer optimum moisturization and an aroma that mimics the recipient’s favorite scent. Many people find peppermint and vanilla particularly pleasing for foot lotions.
Insoles for the soul. Sadly, style and comfort aren’t always in lockstep with each other, and we often wear shoes that look good but don’t feel good on our feet. In fact, the APMA cites poorly fitted, uncomfortable shoes as a major source of foot pain for many people. Fortunately, a host of high-tech shoe inserts has made it easier to ease the discomfort caused by shoes. Insoles can help cushion and support the foot while easing chafing in problem areas. You can even find varieties with gel inside or ridges that purport to massage feet while the wearer walks. You’ll need to know the recipient’s shoe size and in what type of shoe he or she will be wearing the inserts.
While your foot-friendly gift probably can’t alleviate all the frustrations of the holidays, it can help recipients feel better about their feet. And once their feet feel good, maybe untangling that ball of last year’s holiday lights won’t seem quite so stressful.