Yes, I am going to go there and talk about feet in this post. So lets get over the gross parts associated with feet. Then move on to the important matter at hand. Your Foot Health is Oh So Important!
Your feet work hard with little reward at times. Hey You, Yes You a little pampering would be greatly appreciated once in a while! Your feet keep you active and moving throughout the day. Then you really put your feet to the test with walking, exercising, hiking, etc.
Yoga & Your Feet
The most unlikely place I ever thought I would tune into my feet is in Yoga class. Your feet can have an affect on other parts of your body, especially if there is any type of pain. Your body can become out of alignment. Yoga allows me to stretch out my muscles and hopefully by advancing in the poses lead to a greater range of motion.
Interesting Fact: 7 out of 1o people will suffer from foot problems, many of which are entirely preventable.
I am finding that I keep my stress in my neck and shoulders as well as my feet. So stretching my foot muscles helps me stay active and moving. I also can tell when I am dehydrated because my feet will cramp of fatigue about half way through an hour class.
One of my favorite poses in Yoga class is the Mountain Pose. This pose really tells me if my body is aligned or not and what to work on throughout my hour class. Mountain pose can show you were you put your weight while standing and your instructor can help you to not bow your legs inward or not bow your knees outward. The funny thing about doing Yoga twice a week is that I am more aware of my posture throughout the day and week too.
Think about your feet as having 4 corners – the big and little toes and then the outer and inner heels. Now imagine distributing your weight evenly across your feet. Hello Healthy Alignment and Goodbye Foot and Body Aches!
Downward-Facing Dog gives you a great calf stretch as well as your feet a good stretch in the pose. As you improve in this pose your feet will eventually be flat on the floor. I am not there yet, but working on it in every class.
Tree Pose will tell you if you have stability or not, especially when this pose consists of standing on one leg. Feet do not fail me or I will be falling over. I enjoy tree pose because it makes me concentrate on my balance and stability. Plus I love when I can hold this pose until it is time to move out of it.
I am not a fan of this pose YET! This pose is done while kneeling with your toes tucked under you in order to stretch the arch and lengthen the plantar muscles on the sole of your foot (familiar with plantar fasciitis – inflammation of the plantar muscles). This pose improves flexibility and loosens the tension in your feet. I have not been able to relax into this pose and maybe with time will be able to do that.
DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR TOES PEOPLE! Tuning into your toes again will help you with your range of motion for everyday activities and those times you put your toes and feet to the test. Spread your toes, sit back on your heels and wiggle those tootsies and just maybe try to pick something up with your toes for fun. My feet feel so alive after an hour Yoga class; gets the blood pumping and the circulation moving once again.
Socks & Shoes
I am learning just how important the socks you wear affect your feet. For the better or for the worse. The shoes you wear are just as important too. Most likely you are not going to wear flip flops when you go running for 5 miles. I love compression socks that wick away mositure for exercising. Goodbye sweaty feet as well as rubbing, chaffing and blisters. Plus these socks make you want to dance because you are no longer suffering from fatigue.
I have noticed that at times I have more balance and stability when barefoot versus wearing shoes when working out. Sometimes I feel like a klutz when I workout with shoes on. When I am barefoot I feel more focused on my balance and stability as well as my ankles and core.