This article is part of the Health Conditions topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
Feet are sometimes overlooked when considering health care, even though they are so important to us in our everyday lives. It is often not until we lose our mobility that we realise we have also lost our independence.
Everyone with diabetes knows the importance of keeping their feet well exercised and the blood circulating freely in order to avoid foot problems. Narrowing of the blood vessels can occur and nerve endings may be damaged causing loss of feeling. If sensation and circulation to the feet is decreased, a small cut or abrasion may not at first be felt and then lead to more serious problems such as an ulcer. Toes and sometimes even a foot or leg can require amputation. So for those with diabetes, exercise to boost circulation is particularly important.
There are many ways to get the exercise necessary for good blood circulation, walking being a very easy way for those who are able. But for less mobile people, an inflatable exerciser is available which allows you to exercise from the comfort of a living room chair. It is so easy to use and takes no space to store, is soft on feet and works wonders keeping blood circulating in feet (and hands also when used on the lap). It deflates to fit in your pocket to take with you wherever you go, so you can exercise even while on holiday.
The Air Cycle helps people to protect and care for their feet, particularly those with diabetes or arthritis. As well as boosting circulation, the gentle exercise helps reduce swollen ankles, relieve cramps, joint pain and stiffness.
“Anyone on diuretics with the problem of fluid retention and anyone sitting with legs down for any length of time may be helped by using this exerciser,” says Dr Matthew Parsons, Professor of Gerontology at Auckland University. This includes long distance travellers, office workers and convalescent patients.
Keeping feet healthy and dealing with foot problems as they arise also helps to prevent falls. Using the Air Cycle regularly can improve balance and walking. Because of increased leg muscle strength and joint flexibility, people become steadier on their feet and are less likely to fall.
Do not overlook caring for your feet. Remember, an annual foot check by a podiatrist is a good insurance policy.
The Air Cycle is registered with Medsafe and is used and recommended by arthritis educators, diabetes clinics, hospitals and podiatrists. It costs $25 and is guaranteed for 12 months. Air Cycles make great gifts. For more information visit www.aircycle.co.nz or phone 04-569 5013 for a 10% discount during November and December.