After a weekend filled with brilliant sunshine and copious flip-flop, healed/flat sandal, or unsupportive espadrille wearing, many of you may need to think about some TLC for your feet!
We tend to forget about looking after such small (or big) parts of our body, our feet; even though they never stop working and are vital to a healthy & happy body.
Pilates really is your answer to an ‘all over body workout’ so let’s not forget about those feet…
There are different ways that we can help you; using specially designed apparatus in the EPL studio to improve bunions, correct toe misalignments, generally strengthen the feet, release aches & pains, and improve your balance, or by performing some physical movements and stretches to single out the foot muscles & work deeper within the foot.
To name a few more problems you might be facing with your feet which can be helped and even fixed through Pilates foot-work are: fallen arches, curled up toes, and plantar fascitis.
Whether you are in the EPL studio for the use of the ‘foot-corrector’ apparatus, staying at home using tennis balls to roll along the foot pressure points, or at your desk practicing some foot exercises, make sure you take the time to reform and refresh your poor feet, as many of us never give them much of a break!
Once you feel the benefit of this foot TLC you will want to make-shift anything you can find in to a little device to help. Some previously tried suggestions: elastic bands off the head of a bunch of broccoli! A tennis ball as mentioned, or your hand towel hanging in the bathroom, these all can be ‘formidable weapons in the war against foot pain’. These devices, used correctly, really get the circulation going. Best thing to do is to come and see us for some exercises to take home with you!
For thousands of years the benefits of reflexology have been enjoyed in a form of massage. Let’s take it that bit further by adding increased ankle stability, flexibility, alignment and propulsion (landing heavy on the feet, typically with exercise). Thus the work you do with Pilates and your feet can help improve speed for an athlete and the ‘arch jump’ of the dancer. Basically, it’s just the best thing to do PLUS it feels so good!
You’ll also see how taking care in releasing tension/tightness in the bottom of the feet can positively correspond with releasing tensions and tightness through the entire back & centre of your body. The bones of your feet are designed to move with every step you take; these day-to-day foot movements actually influence how your ankles, knees, hips and spine all move/align with one another.
Essentially what we are saying is the correct calibration of your body is dependent on healthy well looked after feet. So, next time you try to stuff your feet in to expensive shoes that are too small for you, or a pair of vintage super narrow loafers, remember that it WILL have a negative impact on the rest of the body afterwards! Unfortunately, the same result applies with your open & unsupportive footwear mentioned above; flip-flops etc, where we use tension in the toes to hold on to our shoes for dear life! Time spent on looking after our feet now will save us time and money in the future spent on pain relief, specialist appointments etc.
We recommend practicing foot exercises at least three times a week, but three times a day would be super duper beneficial! If you try anything out without seeing us first, let us know how you get on and if you have any questions!
Why not take a little time out of your day to help prevent pain, to relieve pain or just to help with strength and alignment. Get ready to ‘take a step in the right direction’.