Your feet are an important part of your daily life. They take you everywhere you need to go, whether that’s a walk in the park with your family, or as part of a rigorous exercise routine that is designed to keep you healthy. It’s important to take care of your feet, as many people find out when they contract a blister or some other sore and realize just how much of an impact that foot discomfort has on their daily life.
But when it comes to keeping your feet warm, most people tend to think of it simply as a matter of convenience of comfort. Of course, everyone understands the danger of extremities getting too cold, such as the very real, damaging effects of frostbite, but when feet are a little “chilly” this is sometimes thought of as just a minor form of discomfort that should be tolerated. Warm feet, in other words, are sometimes regarded are more of a convenience or a luxury than an actual matter of health.
Unfortunately, this is not true. You may not realize it, but keeping your feet warm can play an important overall role in your health.
Your feet, just like your hands and head, are one of the key points where heat can leave your body. This is because feet are one of the furthest points away from your body, and therefore receive the least benefit of full, healthy circulation. This is why socks and gloves can be critical in the winter months, since both hands and feet can get very cold very quickly in the winter season.
But, aside from frostbite, why is this bad?
The human body is an amazing and sensitive mechanism. Everything in the environment affects it, and it responds to a huge variety of stimulus. This includes temperature, which can have a big effect on you even when it’s just your hands and feet. Cold feet, for example, can have a direct impact on your nose. As your body detects that your feet are cold, it struggles to redirect more energy into the extremities to maintain overall body temperature. As a result of this, it “deprioritizes” what it feels are less necessary functions at the time, like generating mucous in your nose. Unfortunately for people, less mucous filtration in the nose means that we are less protected against airborne microbes, such as the common cold.
In other words, in attempting to keep your feet your warm, your body may actually impair your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to illness.