If your feet were on your face would you take better care of them? Our feet are a marvel of architecture, each one has 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. We shove them into all manner of shoes, some narrow and unaccommodating, pound them endlessly and on occasion adorn them with nail polish. They need more than a pedicure!
Our feet are what connects us to the earth when we stand. I believe that when we have strong, malleable feet they become the foundation for a strong and stable body. If our feet are weak, immobile or out of alignment, it can have adverse affects up the kinetic chain to our ankle, knee, hip and even spine.
You’re never too old to improve your foot health. Even if your feet are stiff now, studies show that your flexibility can be improved at any age. Give your feet a breather and walk barefoot in your home. Make daily outdoor walks a regular habit and include foot strengthening and flexibility exercises into your routine. All 3 of my DVD’s include standing and resistance band exercises that improve the strength of your feet and the malleability of your ankles.
In my first DVD, BoneSmart Pilates: Exercise to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis, I introduce myofascial release of the feet using custom cut 1/2 tennis balls. The goal is to improve blood flow, circulation, resilience and to enhance proprioception (the body’s ability to tell the brain where your body is in space). This is particularly helpful for improving balance and decreasing your risk of falls. The reason I use 1/2 tennis balls and not full tennis balls is two-fold. The 1/2 tennis ball is pliable, has give, and will compress when you press your body weight on it making it tolerable for those with sensitive feet. A full tennis ball, has less give and is more resistant to compression so it may feel more painful than using a 1/2 tennis ball. The other important reason is that since it has a flat underside surface, it won’t roll and will not pose a trip hazard by slipping out from under your foot. That is a risk when working with a full small round ball.
BoneSmart Pilates AGING STRONG VOL I, introduces you to the Myofascial release ball (affectionately referred to as the “purple pickle”).
This prop kicks up the stimulation to your feet with a textured surface and an oval shape that molds to the longitudinal arch of your foot. We focus here on both a light, stimulatory massage and a deep kneading motion that heightens sensory awareness of the soles of your feet, shuttles blood back towards your heart and helps prevent conditions like plantar fasciitis. In addition, we introduce inversion and eversion of the forefoot, a gentle twisting motion, that is helpful for preventing ankle sprains and maintaining a resilient foot and ankle.
Show your feet some love ❤️. Start your day this way and you’ll feel energized, connected and grounded!