Frolicking Feet

Wellness Concept

Frolicking Feet

From the Healing Bridge Physical Therapy

June 2010 Wellness Notes

By Allison Suran, PT, GCFP

Founder, Healing Bridge Physical Therapy

Feet are often taken for granted. Until you have foot pain, a stubbed toe, or even a blister, you may not realize how much you depend on your feet. They get you everywhere. To the bathroom, the kitchen, the car, work, out for some exercise or a nice walk…You might even take them out dancing.

Here are some tips to make sure you are taking good care of your feet so that they will continue to be there for you when you need them. (If you have any foot “issues” such as diabetes, neuropathy, Reynaud’s, poor balance, impaired circulation, etc., please be advised to take appropriate cautions).

1. Go barefoot as often as possible: Feet are meant to move freely. Every day we place them in bondage — our shoes, which can encourage weakness and decreased flexibility. (Think about if you were to put your leg in a cast for 1-2 months…would you expect it to be stronger and more flexible? Or weaker and less flexible).

2. Exercise your feet: Walk on your toes, your heels, the insides and outsides of your feet. Keep your feet strong and flexible.

3. Walk well. Notice how you walk, and take some time learning how to walk well. (click here to read my article “If It Walks Like a Duck…”). Make sure you use your whole foot, all the way through to the “push off” phase through the ball of your foot.

4. Wear good shoes. This can mean a lot of different things and entire books have been devoted to this. But basically you don’t want to cram your feet into your shoes. Make sure you can easily use your whole foot comfortably for walking. Although there are proponents for “lots of shoe support” out there, a new wave of thinking is becoming popular that allows your foot to do the work so that it maintains strength and flexibility.

5. Have good foot-to-body awareness. Take a few moments once in a while when walking, to notice how your feet connect to and support your legs, your spine, even your head. Just having this awareness supports your mind-body health. The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone…the leg bone’s connected to the spine bone…

6. Thank your feet. Breathe some gratitude into your feet and down into the ground keeping yourself connected and grounded throughout the day. There are piles of research that support the positive effects of gratitude. Why not use it towards your own body?

The weather is getting better and better. Take advantage of it, use your feet more, and go for a good walk or hike, in beautiful Central Oregon.