We wanted to share a quick article about the importance of letting your feet out of your shoes once in awhile! Read the article, watch the YouTube video, the check out the fitness class specifically designed for bare feet, willPower & Grace, Wednesday and Saturday at 9:30am.
The Importance Of Going Barefoot + How To Reclaim Your Feet (link to article)
BY MARY WHALING
MARCH 14, 2015 5:24 AM EDT
Because of the amount of nerve endings found in the feet (more per square centimeter than any other part of the body) , they’re your gateway to proprioception or, the awareness of where your body is in space. So imagine if your feet were stuck in thick-soled, flat shoes all day, not knowing if there was a need to alter your movement due to uneven ground, inclines, declines or changes in temperature. These are all important messages that should be received through your feet, but when they’re constricted within shoes, the brain doesn’t receive the feedback.
Furthermore, issues with and stiffness in your feet can eventually affect muscles and joints higher up in the kinetic chain, like ankles, knees, hips and spine. Paying attention to and exercising your feet can change pain experiences in other areas of your body … never underestimate the importance of happy, healthy feet! Here are three things you can do to reclaim your feet.
1. Mobilize your feet.
Using a tennis ball, golf ball or a posture pro (as seen in picture), gently apply pressure to the bottom of the foot and roll back and forth along the whole arch, targeting any areas of tenderness. This can be done in sitting or standing. Spend at least one minute working on each foot, if not longer.
2. Get your feet moving.
Though they seem simple, these foot mobility exercises can make a huge difference. Try any of the following:
Spread your toes apart, then squeeze them together.
Point your toes, then flex.
Point your foot up from the ankle, lift it up a few inches and move it side to side, making small circles with your foot one way, and then the other.
If your feet and toes are really stiff and you struggle to connect with them, use your fingers between your toes to help get your feet moving!
3. Take your shoes off.
Spend as much time as you can barefoot. Walking your dog in the park, doing chores around the house, train barefoot in the gym … anything that re-connects your foot with the ground.
Try it! Your feet will thank you. You’ll gain more mobility, stability and, if you’re someone who suffers from repeated ankle sprains, you’ll definitely benefit from a barefoot lifestyle as your ankles are clearly trying to tell you something!
Photo Credit: Stocksy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary is the director of free ur body based in Adelaide, a gym based rehabilitation service which gives you results you may not have thought possible. With a background in Physiotherapy and a broad array of post-degree qualifications she helps get people out of chronic pain through thorough assessment and movement based rehabilitation. We believe education is the key to health & wellness and pass our tools on to our clients to ensure they can independently maintain their health and wellbeing to the highest level.