The Importance of Foot Fitness and How Pilates Can Change the Way You Walk
Feet are arguably the most used and probably the least taken care of part of the body. We rely on our feet to hold us up all day, to carry us from point A to point B, to carry us through our workouts and to help us with our balance. And yet we shove them into cute, narrow unsupported shoes and strengthening and stretching our feet seem to be far down on our “To Do” lists. But then as soon as our feet begin to protest, we run to the nearest doctor to “fix them”. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some cases when medical intervention is necessary to fix a foot issue….bunions, extra bone in the foot, etc…however if we would take just a bit of time to strengthen and stretch our feet, we could possibly rectify the majority of all of our foot issues.
When we are young and our bodies rebound pretty easily on their own, wearing proper footwear and stretching our feet regularly is not usually a high priority.
However, as we get older and the need to maintain good balance and stay active becomes of greater importance….we are suddenly paying closer attention to our feet…how they feel and how they work.
Most of us don’t realize there are a few simple exercises, when done consistently, can work wonders on improving foot health.
What Causes Foot Pain…
2. Foot and ankle weakness
3. Improper foot wear
4. Abnormal walking mechanics
5. Poor posture
Weakness in the foot and ankle can absolutely affect the entire chain…the knee, the hip, the lower back, etc. If the muscles of the foot are not strong, they have a challenging time keeping the little bones of the foot in good alignment. And that, in turn can cause poor alignment in the ankle, knee and hip.
As we get older, we often develop arthritis in many parts of our body….hands, shoulder, lower back, knee and hip….the feet are not exempt from these arthritic changes. Stretching the feet regularly can help keep them working in the manner they are intended…as a shock absorber for all of the gravitational forces that occur up the entire chain.
MY FEET HURT….NOW WHAT….
When our feet begin to hurt, our first line of defense is to fix it with a brace or arch supports. If this doesn’t work, we move on to medications and even surgery. What many of us don’t realize is if we do a few simple daily exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of our feet, then the muscles of the feet will be strong enough to support the arch and hold the bones of the feet in their proper place. In turn, the feet feel GREAT!
5 Daily Exercises For Foot Fitness…
1. Heel Raises-both-Stand on both feet and raise up on tip toes-20x
2. Heel Raises – one- Stand on one foot and raise up on tip toes – 20x each
3. Gastroc Stretch-Lunge calf stretch, knee straight – 1 minute each
4. Soleus Stretch-Lunge calf stretch, back knee bent – 1 minute each
5. Balance on One Foot-Stand on one foot – 60 seconds each
Pilates…..Improve My Ability To Walk Without Pain…
Pilates, when done correctly and consistently, can improve how our feet feel. There are many parts of Pilates that can help with our feet and how they feel. Pilates works on balance, body awareness and full body strength. Many of the Pilates exercises are completed in a low to non-weight bearing position….when means even when we have some foot pain already, we can gently work on strengthening and stretching the feet in a low stress environment. Just about every Pilates exercise is having you point or flex your feet. Footwork on the Reformer is a unique and fantastic way to improve foot and lower extremity biomechanics, foot flexilibty and strength.
And when Pilates is done consistently, foot pain can become no more!
Regular Pilates matwork and equipment sessions are the best gift we can give ourselves to maintain great whole-body health….including our feet. Using Pilates to improve and maintain the strength and mobility of our feet will help us have better balance as we get older, help to improve our posture, reduce the chance of injuries and make all of the activities we enjoy easier.
ABS Pilates of Central Ohio can help make your Feet “Happy”!
ABS Pilates of Central Ohio offers in-person Pilates classes, Private Sessions, Semi-Private Sessions, Private Classes and Online classes designed to help improve your strength, flexibility, posture awareness and balance.
ABS Pilates, located in Sunbury, Ohio offers these services to people in Columbus and all the surrounding areas including but not limited to Sunbury, Gahanna, Westerville, Galena and New Albany.
All Pilates classes and private sessions at ABS Pilates of Sunbury, Ohio are lead by Amanda B. Smith, licensed physical therapist, McKenzie certified therapist and certified Pilates instructor with more than 30 years of experience.
Contact ABS Pilates today and make sure you are learning the correct way to improve the strength, flexibility and balance of your feet!
Are You Not Located In the Central Ohio Area?
NO PROBLEM…ABS Pilates has an ONLINE PROGRAM TOO!
WOULD YOU PREFER TO EXERCISE IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME?
Check Out ABS Pilates On-Demand ONLINE classes….
*Over 100 different classes
*Novice, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Classes
*Pilates, Barre, Strengthening, Yoga and Stretching classes
*FREE 2-Week Trial for all new clients
*New classes added every month
Check out the ALL NEW class NOW ADDED to the ONLINE program…
“Happy Feet!”…Pilates For Foot Fitness
***Look under the Beginner Category
CHECK IT OUT TODAY and have your workouts at your fingertips 24/7!