It’s a great way to get active in spring: a walk in the fresh air. Foot Health Awareness Month.

“Walking is great exercise for the feet,”Robert Zwolak MD, president of Society for Vascular Surgery. Both podiatrists as well as vascular surgeons agree that foot health is dependent on blood flow. The doctor recommended a steady 30-minute walk every day.

For daily foot care, here are some tips:

* Improve circulation by walking, bicycling, dancing and swimming.

* Inspect feet for cuts, sores, blisters, redness, warm spots or swelling. Warm water is sufficient to wash feet. Moisturize for soft skin. Cut toenails straight across.

* Wear socks and properly fitting shoes.

* Protect feet from heat and cold.

* Wiggle toes. For blood flow to be maintained, you should flex your ankles and feet for five minutes at a time, two to three times per day.

“Feet are our foundation,”Dr. Michael King is the president of American Podiatric Association. “Healthy feet are fundamental to the quality of our daily lives. We need to take care of them every day, and see a medical professional if they begin to hurt.”Patients with serious foot problems are treated by podiatrists as well as vascular surgeons.

A podiatrist can help with many symptoms.

* Hair loss on toes may be a sign of poor circulation.

* Blue thread veins and very white skin are common among lifelong smokers and may indicate vascular disease.

* A swollen foot may indicate a blocked lymph node or deep vein thrombosis, a dangerous blot clot in the legs.

* Corns and blisters are important to treat promptly in those with diabetes. These conditions can lead to serious illness if left untreated.

* Dry, cracked heels may indicate a thyroid problem.

* Swollen feet may indicate heart or kidney problems.

* Any changes in the color, thickness or loosening of the toenails should be evaluated.

Additional information on foot care is available at www.todayspodiatrist.comAnd

The pace of life today is rapid. People can check their kids’ soccer scores on the phone, while also sending emails to work with the help of digital technology. With the advent of the Internet, consumers can expect the same conveniences from all services and businesses except their insurance companies. Although 98 per cent of insurance claims are processed within 30 working days, it can be frustrating for those who have difficulty paying their medical bills.

Nearly two-thirds American households make less than 2002. Simply being insured does not suffice. It’s vital to understand how quickly and efficiently your insurance carrier pays claims. This is critical for both financial recovery and physical recovery.

Recent research found that 66% would not be able to adjust to the high financial cost of serious illnesses or injuries. Only 49% of workers have over $1,000 to pay out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, rising healthcare costs have forced employers to take cost-saving measures that are putting employees under greater financial pressure.

* Increasing employees’ health care insurance copayments.

* Increasing employees’ share of premium.

* Implementing high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts.

A lot of people will have to wait for up to a few months before receiving their insurance payments. Many insurance companies strive to provide fast service with better technology and better understanding of customers’ needs. This is just one example. AflacIn the insurance industry, it is rare to find policies that allow for claims approval, processing, and payment within one day.

In the past, fast payment policies were a luxury. It is a necessity in today’s world. It is more important than ever that you have money available immediately for serious injuries or illnesses. Your insurance company should be able to respond quickly.

Aflac’s One Day Pay guarantee can be found on