The term podiatry was used since the early 20th century in the United States to describe the branch of medicine that is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the lower extremitudes like the foot and the ankle. Beside United States, this branch of medicine is now commonly used in a number of other countries like United Kingdom and Australia.

Who is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a specialized physician who is trained to diagnose and treat podiatric problems. Only seek the assistance of podiatrists who have a valid license to practice.

What are the routine exercises to follow?

The science of podiatry always emphasizes about the need to perform certain routine exercises by everyone to prevent or retard podiatric problems. Here is a detailed description of these exercises:

1. Warm-up : Warm-up exercises are meant to be performed to increase the blood circulation and prepare the body for serious exercise. The duration of warm-up exercise will be determined by your exercise type. If you intend to go for long, brisk walks, the warm-up timing will only be a few minutes but for more strenuous exercises, you require a longer warm-up time.

2. Flexibility exercises : These may also be considered as part of the warm-up program. flexibility exercises concentrate on certain points like the joints of your body and helps to increase the flexibility and mobility of the joints. Some of these exercises are as follows:

• Toe points: Stand on one leg and lift the other foot up with the toe pointed for a few seconds and then flex your feet to point your toes out. Repeat the steps with both feet.

• Ankle circles: This exercise can be performed while sitting, standing or lying on the back. Lift one feet up and rotate your ankle with the toe pointed out. Forms ten rotations each for each toe.

• The twist: This exercise helps to loosen up your shoulders, back and waist. Stretch your legs shoulder width apart and hold your arms straight out parallel to the floor. Swing your arms from side to side while keeping the lower extremity stationary.

• Arm circles: Stretch out your arms parallel to the ground and rotate them forwards and returns gradually increasing the circumference of the circles made by your arms.

3. Walk: In the beginning, try not to push yourself too hard. Walk briskly so that your breathing is elevated but do not walk so fast that you need to gasp for air. Increase the duration and speed of your walk as you move on with the exercise regime.

4. Cool down: Give your body sufficient resting time to recover back to a normal state after a brisk walk. The cooling time will be determined by the nature of your walk. The more strenuous the walk, the longer will be the cooling times.

5. Stretch: A quite neglected area, many people abstain from performing stretches after walking and cooling down. Stretch after every workout for a duration defined by your nature of exercise.