Runners often disregard their feet--a part of the body that endures daily blunt force. Imagine, hitting the same part of your body over and over again until it’s battered and bruised. Sometimes the toenail bed becomes so tender that it will no longer grow back and you begin to lose your toenails entirely. Runners are often embarrassed of their feet, whether it’s the sizable calluses that serve as protection overtime or the blackened toenails traumatized by constant force. Proper foot care is a must because the better you treat your feet, the better they will treat you. Here are some tips for proper foot care: 1. Soak in epsom salts. Epsom salts relax tired tootsies and soothe foot heel pain, especially after a long run. Add 1 cup of epsom salts to a large bowl of warm water and soak for ten minutes. 2. Moisturize your feet at the end of each day. After a good long soak, consider moisturizing your feet. If your feet are tender, choose a topical cream that relieves pain. Consider a natural treatment that includes devil’s claw and arnica for pain relief. 3. Keep your toenails trimmed. Keep your toenails trimmed to avoid ingrown toenails. Longer toenails can also scratch your other toes. 4. Consider an after race spa treatment. Some spas specialize in after race day pedicures. Go! Spa, a St. Louis-based salon, has been offering the Perfect 10K pedicure for the last eight years. “A lot of our clients who are runners want that callus,” said Katy Oliver, a spokeswoman for the salon. So instead of sloughing them off, the spa technicians leave them on. They also cut the nails to a medium length – too short, you risk ingrown toenails; too long, and you’re more likely to bang the nail against the front of your shoe." So, if you are an avid runner, keep this in mind next time you go for a pedicure.

Sara Novak is a Natural Health Care Expert for Zax Health. Follow her on Twitter at @sarafnovak.