Your feet are complex things. There are 26 bones, 20 muscles and 33 joints in each foot. Yet we often neglect them and I’m not talking about painting your nails 😉 Our weight is carried through our feet, so really we need to turn our thinking upside down and put out feet first. For optimal all over body health our feet need to be loved and looked after. You guessed it, the walk you walk and stand can be connected to your back, so that back pain could be due to your feet.
Ideally our feet are designed to move like our hands and fingers. They are capable of similar movements. However from a young age we put our feet in socks and then in shoes. Imagine putting your hands in mittens all day, over time your body would adapt. Your fingers would not be exercised and would lose their dexterity, your forearms would adapt and compensate. The same happens to our feet, muscles in the feet become weak and underdeveloped, muscles such as the calf compensate and are overworked.
Stand up barefoot and take a look at your feet… aren’t they beautiful 😉
1. Do your feet match? We do lots of things that are one sided – car driving for example and this can lead to the muscles developing differently on one side.
2. Toes – are they scrunched up, pulled to one side or do you have bunions? All signs you need to correct the way you stand and walk.
2. Where do you feet point? Turned in, turned out or straight? One may be facing a different way to another. You want them to be facing forward, to move you forward with the leg muscles working in the correct manner. Walking from heel to toe is only possible to do correctly if your feet face forward.
3. Toes and Foot Alignment. Stand up with your foot against a straight edge such as a pilates mat. See whether is is sits flush with the edge, if it doesn’t move it until it does. That is how is should be!
Start walking barefoot where possible – this means no shoes OR socks. This will allow your toes to spread and your feet to feel the floor.
Shake hands with your feet. To encourage your toes to stretch out and “breathe” slide your fingers between your toes. Gradually you can work your fingers further down. I know, I NEED a pedicure.
Use a tennis ball or spikey ball and roll it under your feet to massage them and stimulate them.
Try out toe socks… I’m loving these beauties for my Pilates right now:
More exercises and top tips coming up in the next blog post, a little foot series is on it’s way. So get bare footing!!