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I think most of us will agree that prevention is always better than cure, but how often do we follow that advice? Often, it’s knowing where to start. Most of us know the importance of a good skincare regime and I’m sure we all know the long-term benefits of wearing sunscreen, but when it comes to our feet, is there anything we can do to help prevent aches, pains, bunions, arthritis & a whole host of other problems?
Our feet take a terrific pounding! Not only are they responsible for supporting our entire body, but according to The American Podiatric Medical Association, the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. That adds up to 115,000 miles in a lifetime which is more than 4 times around the Earth! On top of that, women are also 4 times more likely than men to have foot problems because of the shoes we choose to wear.
One-quarter of the bones in our body are in our feet (52 in all), along with 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. When you think of it like that, it’s worth putting in a bit of time to keep them in good working order.
So put your best foot forward and kick start a foot workout: -
Muscle workout: Grip a thin towel or a pen with your toes and lift your arch up at the same time. Hold this for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 10 to 20 times once a day.
Balance: Practice standing on one leg, this gets all the muscles and ligaments working together to help strengthen your feet. Once you master balancing, try going up onto tiptoes on one leg at the same time.
Calf stretches: Find a book, (or a piece of wood, or even a step) and place both forefeet on the edge of the book lowering heels off the back until you feel a pulling down the back of your calves. If it is painful, use a thinner book and if you can’t feel anything, use a thicker book. Hold the stretch for about 2 minutes and don’t bounce.
Deep tissue massage: Use a golf or tennis ball and roll it under your arch and foot once a day for about 5 minutes.
Exercise: Walking is a great all-round exercise for your feet. On top of that, it also contributes towards your general health by improving circulation and controlling your weight.
Protection: A good pair of quality trainers are your best friend when it comes to any sort of exercise, be it walking to the shops or sprinting around the block!
Many of us are guilty of undoing all the good work simply by slipping straight back into thin unsupportive footwear! Strive footwear can help because they are specifically designed by foot experts to work with your feet and hold them in the best position while walking and standing. Good quality footwear is just as important as everything else when it comes to healthy feet.