The Importance of Foot Health
Most of us take our feet for granted. Unless you are in pain, you probably don’t give a second thought to walking, standing, and running. However, modern life can take a toll on your feet. Fancy shoes, hard walking surfaces, and a sedentary lifestyle can all spell trouble for your feet. This can lead to pain that has a serious impact on your life. And the truth is, the pain you feel might not even show up first in your feet – it can show up in other areas of your body or simply in your ability to balance. The good news is that there is a solution! You can easily make positive changes to your feet by forming a few new healthy habits. Want to know more? Here is why keeping your feet healthy and happy will make your entire body feel better.
Our Fascinating Feet
Your feet are literally the foundation for your body. They are responsible for all types of movement, including walking, jumping, running, kicking, balancing, and dancing. Your feet can do all of these amazing things because they are full of nerves that communicate directly with your brain. Your feet are also home to 26 bones and 33 joints, making them extremely complex! Since there are so many parts to your feet, it is relatively easy for them to become unbalanced and misaligned. This is where problems begin.
Foot Problems = Whole Body Problems
When your feet become weak or unbalanced, you may feel pain in them. However, weak and misaligned feet can cause pain to manifest in your ankles, legs, hips, and back. When you focus on healing the pain in those body parts, you are often treating symptoms and not the root of the problem. And as we have established, your feet are your roots! When you focus on keeping them strong, flexible, and properly aligned, then the rest of your body will be healthy and happy.
How to Solve Foot Issues
Solving foot issues is not an easy, one-size-fits-all process. Everybody is unique, so one solution for one person may not work for the next. However, there are a few things you can do to let your feet work in their proper way, every day.
1. Go Barefoot (Or Close to It)
Your feet are perfectly designed on their own. They do not need special arch support or elevated heels unless they are already in trouble. Try to walk barefoot as much as possible. Obviously, you can’t do this all the time, so we recommend opting for zero drop, minimal sole shoe that mimic walking barefoot in everyday life. But do so with care! Slowly increase the time you spend barefoot and if you regularly wear a very high heel, you’ll want to take your height down in increments so that the muscles in your foot can slowly adjust to the changes.
2. Practice Pilates and Yoga
These methods of exercise are a great way to bring attention to your feet because you typically are barefoot or wearing socks while in your practice. Pilates teachers often cue students for the proper alignment and encourage a sense of grounding of the feet to the floor or the reformer. This is important because its from that grounding where you have the potential to create the most efficient movement, which will in turn impact your workouts. When your workout is more efficient – your whole body benefits! If you’d like to learn more about how Pilates can help make your workouts more efficient, check out how to Get Started with us here.
3. Stretch and Exercise Your Feet
When you relax at home, take the time to roll your feet out with a massage ball; I recommend something like “the originals” from Tune Up Fitness. You could also strengthen your toes with a towel, and stretch out the bottom of your feet with a band or towel. These simple moves can strengthen and stretch your feet and eliminate pain before it even begins. Here are five great foot exercises from a previous blog; perform them every day or every other day, and you’ll start to see a difference!
Want to know more about fixing your feet?
Be sure to attend our Feed Your Soles Workshop on Sunday March 31, 2019. We’ll show you how to check your foot strength and balance, and stretches you can do to help improve mobility in your feet and ankles. If you practice what you learn in the workshop daily, you will be well on your way to living a balanced, pain free life with happy, healthy feet.