Did you know women generally are 9 times more prone to have cold hands and feet than men? It’s because of our lower blood pressure, thinner skin, less iron and muscle mass, as well as hormone fluctuations. In winter, we undertreat our feet by squeezing them into hard or uncomfortable shoes, walking or running long distances, and not grooming them often enough. But having cold feet can influence our comfort level: when walking in cold weather, curled up in front of TV, or getting to sleep, it makes the season less tolerable.
Icy toes are not a definite symptom, but they do mean an imbalance in your body, which requires some attention. Frequently cold feet indicate insufficient blood flow. Poor circulation may be a complication of peripheral artery disease (PAD), but check your circulation with your podiatrist for pulses in the feet. Luckily, you can easily treat cold feet with magnesium.
In terms of reproductive health, permanently having your feet cold may affect your abdomen and cause pelvic floor problems, severe menstrual cramps and pain, irregular menstrual cycle and fertility issues. In fact, Chinese medicine sees pelvis and womb as the core of woman’s body, where the blood goes before warming up the extremities. This "cold uterus" syndrome (in a womb that is unable to conceive) is treated by improving blood circulation in woman’s feet and trunk.
Actually, insufficient blood flow makes your whole organism suffer, and the bad news is aging deteriorates it. The good news is we can reduce the symptoms by using home remedies and natural solutions. Here are some tips how to take care of your feet in wintertime.
• Keep your feet and hands warm. Get yourself some cozy fluffy slippers and mittens! Also, wear natural wool or cotton socks, which hold more warm air around the feet, or graduated compression hosiery that helps stimulate circulation. To retain heat in your body, be sure to drink plenty of water.
• Eat heart-healthy foods. Warming, nourishing, and iron-rich foods support your healthy cardiovascular system and strong muscles. Eat liver, oysters and spinach for iron intake, fish and shellfish, meats, eggs and dairy products rich in vitamin B12, and beets and sunflower seeds for niacin intake. Products such as bananas, dark chocolate, oatmeal, low-fat yogurt, olive oil, raspberries, salmon, and walnuts, and raspberry leaf, ginger or cinnamon teas can boost your blood flow.
• Use a foot spa. To prevent chilblains in very cold feet, it’s essential not to make them warm too quickly (as by using a radiator or a hot water bottle). Instead, bathe your tootsies in warm water to heat them up slowly and naturally. This will also hydrate them from the outside. Use lanolin cream: it keeps moisture in your skin, which aids the healthy blood flow.
• Keep moving. Be sure not to stay motionless for long whiles – exercise regularly and frequently. For more flexible feet with excellent circulation, walk, cycle or run, or give them a good stretch with yoga in bare feet. When sleeping, wear socks, or keep your feet slightly elevated by using a bed wedge.
• Give yourself a foot massage. Make time to relax and massage your tootsies after a long day. Wear reflexology socks that work on different areas of the foot. A professional reflexologist can help you increase circulation, cleanse the body of toxins, boost your immune system. Regular foot massage does miracles!
When on your period, make sure you always have your feet warm: it can ease the cramps. To keep your menstrual cycle healthy, check out our recommended products here. We wish you an enjoyable winter!