Discover the only moves your feet need to know to improve posture, balance, and pain!
You may be surprised to hear that your feet are somewhat in control of your posture, balance, and certain pains. Our feet are incredible, they carry us around all day and withstand a lot of abusive footwear. By taking care of your feet, you can ensure that the rest of your body is in prime condition as well.
As we age, our feet deteriorate somewhat and it can become painful to walk on them. This is why ‘about one in every three older Americans takes a tumble, and the chances of falling increase in our 80's and 90's. The amount of pressure we put on each foot while walking determines our balance, and so if you have pain in one foot it puts your walking, and sometimes standing, off balance. By exercising your feet regularly, keeping the blood flowing and muscles strong, you will be less likely to experience balance problems associated with age.
Your balance is directly related to posture as balance involves the correct alignment of muscles and bones in the body to keep you upright. If your feet are not aligned properly or if the angle of your heel is somewhat wrong your posture can be thrown completely off. This study done on women who wear high heels shows the effect the angle your foot is at can create lower back pain. The pain can also cause posture problems as you may be hunched or twisting you back into awkward places to ease the pain.
1. Toe Presses
Before engaging in exercise, like any other part of your body, your toes need a good warm up. These toe presses are an excellent way to get the blood flowing in your feet, plus the movement has been considered quite relaxing! All you have to do is stand up, bend your knees slightly, grip the floor with your toes, hold for 3 seconds then release. Repeat this exercise ten times, three times a day to keep your toes strong and young.
2. Toe Walking
To strengthen the ligaments and muscles in your feet as well as your toes, be a ballerina for 20 seconds! By standing up on your tippy toes and walking around for 20 seconds, your feet will improve significantly! You can repeat this exercise up to 5 times with small rests in between, twice a day. Make sure to hold onto surfaces or walls if your balance isn’t perfect, but don’t worry it will improve with practice!
3. Ankle Circles
This little exercise can help get rid of the ankle, knee or hip pain in no time. These three areas of pain are related to poor posture because ‘When your upper body is not aligned with your lower body, weight bearing is not balanced and you put uneven pressure on your lower extremity when you move’ .
To carry out this exercise, you are going to want to lie down flat on your back with your legs bent upwards. Take one leg and stretch it out above your body. Rotate your ankle clockwise for 10 seconds, then anti-clockwise for another ten. Swap legs and do the same for the other ankle. You can repeat this exercise twice a day for optimal results.
4. Resistance Band
All of the smaller muscles in our feet are essential in helping maintain balance; this exercise is a fantastic way to ensure these muscles remain robust enough to keep you walking without any pain. You will need one exercise band for this exercise.
Sitting on the floor, straighten your legs out in front of you. Next, wrap an exercise band around a sturdy chair or bedpost, and then place the other side of the band on the top of your feet. While in a seated position on the floor, slide back until you feel a tension in the band. Flex your foot backward and hold for a count of 5, release and repeat this movement for 10 repetitions.
This exercise is pretty much what it says on the can- you pick up a pencil or pen with your toes and hold for 10 seconds. It’s a fantastic way to strengthen your toes and you can do it almost anywhere! Do this five times with each foot, 2-3 times a week.
Remember: if you have persistent back, knee or hip pain or extreme balance or posture issues then you should consult a doctor before carrying out any exercises.
So, now you know just how important your feet are and that achy back or sore hip can be easily remedied within a matter of seconds. Give one, two or even all of the exercises a go and watch your balance, posture, and pain improve!