Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Don't Forget your Feet!!

Is Your Exercise Program Missing Something??
It is no mystery that exercise is beneficial for our bodies. People exercise to increase energy levels and boost their mood, reduce pain and chronic illness, improve heart and brain health, build bones and muscles, reduce blood pressure, manage or lose weight, improve sleep quality, and enhance their sex life. Most exercise programs recommend working large muscle groups throughout the core and trunk to support the spine, and throughout the legs and arms to build strength and endurance for daily activities such as walking, bending and lifting. Many group exercises include a thorough routine of activities from head to toe but only have the time to do a few exercises for each body part. It is important to spend extra time working on body parts that are often neglected in regular exercise programs, including your feet!! Luckily, it is about to get easier to focus on your feet!! 

Small but Mighty
Feet are amazing structures within the human body and deserve your attention. Feet consist of 26 bones (which is one quarter of the bones in the entire body!!), 33 joints, and 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Small but mighty, the surface area of the feet are able to support and carry the entire weight of the body for standing, balancing, and walking activities, to name a few. Feet bear the brunt of all weight bearing activities and it is no wonder that they can often fall prey to injuries and pain. "According to the Framingham population study of older adults, approximately 19 percent of men and 25 percent of women have significant foot pain on most days of the week that often limits their ability to function."[1] Foot pain can vary from person to person and be felt in different parts of the foot such as the Big Toe (Turf Toe, Ingrown Toenails, Bunion or Gout), the little toes (Hammertoes), arch (Plantar Fasciitis), top of the foot (Morton's Neuroma or Metatarsagia), front or sides of the ankle (Sprained Ankle), pain underneath the heel pain (Heel Spurs) or on the back of he heel (Achilles Tendonitis). For such a small area of the body, there sure can be a lot of places for pain to be experienced! Because of all of the sensory receptors located in our feet, pain here can be felt as so much more severe than many other places, especially during weight-bearing activities. 

It's ALL Connected
As humans, our parts are all connected so it is possible that a problem in one area can affect not only that area but other places as well.  If other body parts "up the chain" are not working efficiently, excess pressures fall upon the feet. Sometimes dysfunctions in the feet aren't felt as problems there but exhibit themselves as knee, hip, and back pain, or even headaches!  Therefore, it is important to be sure that all of the muscles are working well in your feet and if there are weakness above that cause the feet to be overworked and sore, those issues need to be discovered and resolved too. 

Are you "Out-Sourcing" your Feet's Job?
For years, humans have been shoving their feet inside of shoes that are ill-fitting and don't allow normal foot mechanics to support the arches, which provide natural shock absorption and propel our leg throughout the phases of the walking cycle. Instead, we've been brainwashed into thinking that our feet need external support, such as arch supports, full-shoe inserts, or shock absorbing rubber soles, to do the work for us. Although these technological advances can be helpful for some individuals, our feet were designed to move in and out of "pronation" (flattened arch to serve as a shock absorber) and "supination" (increased arch to create rigid foot to push off) as natural phases of the walking cycle. Our foot muscles that create and support these positions can become weakened if our shoes are taking over those jobs or limit the natural movements available to our feet and ankles. 

Find your Feet's Happy Place! 
The time has come to make FEET the focus of an entire exercise class! 1212 Bodyworks is hosting it's first class to address this common problem affecting so many men and women! 

"Happy Feet" Workshop Series
Thursday 10/10, 10/17, and 10/24 at 10am 
(Three 60min classes...Only $36)

For 3 consecutive weeks, participants will learn and experience therapeutic self-massage techniques, perform specific range of motion and strengthening exercises for the neglected and often weak foot muscles, and will move through standing, walking and balancing progressions. Attendees will walk away with new understanding of the workings of their feet and ankles, as well as tools and techniques that they can apply themselves to address their specific issues and challenges. If you, or someone you know, have experienced foot pain or are struggling to find relief from any of the diagnoses listed above, this class is FOR YOU! This workshop is being offered to only 10 people so contact me today to reserve your spot as space is already filling up quickly! Your feet deserve to be HAPPY FEET!! :)