Heart & Sole: Put Your Best Foot Forward

Health & Wellness, Heart Health


Let’s face it, the foot is pretty easy to neglect. It is an amazing piece of architecture housing 25% of all joints. It is our foundation for the body’s upper scaffolding.

There is also an indisputable link between foot health and heart health. Because your feet are located farthest from the heart, they are the last place to receive blood supply for tissue and nerve endings. Stop walking for as little as 2-3 days and you may find that your heart has already started to become deconditioned.

As physicians, we rarely consider the importance of healthy feet. However, warning signs of potential problems may indeed first manifest in the foot. This may include the first sign of diabetes or its complications, deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals and many others.

It is essential that we keep our feet healthy, especially as we age. Ironically, most people including physicians don’t realize that feet change with age.

It is likely that the shoes sitting in your closet for the past 8 years don’t fit anymore.

It is never too late to strengthen your feet.

It is important to perform balance exercises on a daily basis.

I recommend:

  1. Inspect your feet daily: when you have your annual physical exam, take off your shoes and socks so that your health care provider can examine your feet as well.
  2. Wear the correct shoes: Let’s get real – those narrow cut high-heeled, stiletto shoes that barely have space for your toes may be good as an instragram photo but they do nothing to support you in real life!
  3. Exercise your feet daily: just the simple act of lifting and spreading all 10 toes will have a remarkable effect. Do yoga!
  4. Love them. The more love you throw at your feet, the better they will be.

Lisa Miller, DPM is a holistic podiatrist at the Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. She has nearly 30 years of experience and expertise in preventive foot health and is currently completing her training in Yoga certification.

Is a Good Marriage Cardioprotective?

Health & Wellness, Relationships


New research indicates that a good marriage indeed protects the heart. For example, a study of 2262 middle-aged Finnish men (average age, 53 years) followed for more than 25 years found that men who reported to be “very satisfied” in their marriages were 50% less likely to experience sudden cardiac death compared to those who were dissatisfied.  Another study conducted in elderly Chinese men and women (75 years and older), found that after an acute coronary syndrome, living with a spouse was associated with much greater survival rates  1-year after the event than without a spouse.

The bottom line: A Healthy Marriage equals a Healthy Heart!

Michael Miller, MD is a cardiologist and Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland USA.