In February I have been making time to focus more on mobilising, moving and strengthening my feet.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of feet you’ve got to appreciate how much they actually do for us: The feet are our key foundation and the part of our body that first connects us to the ground, they give us support, feedback about the environment we are moving in and are our primary method for getting from A to B.
I’m a big Die Hard fan. If you’ve watched it you may remember at the beginning of the film when John McClane is sat on the plane and he receives advice to combat jet lag by taking his shoes and socks off (when he arrives!) and making fists with his toes.
Now, I’m not sure how well this helps you fight jet lag but I have a couple of ideas as to why it might help which can be summarised as this:
By moving your feet you are stimulating acupressure points in the feet and sending feedback all the way through the rest of your body and nervous system to keep the brain alert.
Getting your feet moving at any time is great advice. We spend so much of our day with our feet cramped up in shoes, restricting foot and ankle movement and then expecting our feet and our bodies to be able to function fully despite not letting them move most of the time!!
This is why I’m a fan of freeing your feet as much as possible and getting them out of your shoes where possible! When you get in from work get your shoes off and get your feet moving!! Here are some different ideas of what you can do to free your feet:
- Sitting on the floor bring one foot to your hands and gently using your hands give the foot a little massage on the top and the sole of the foot. There are lots of nerve endings in the feet and by giving them a little massage you can help to improve balance, strength and stability.
- Following the foot massage, use the hands to manipulate the ankle in to a circling motion and then a flex and a point through the foot.
- In a standing position, try picking up things with the toes and the feet. I sometimes scatter pens and pieces of material around the room and then use my feet to try to pick them up!
- Standing Heel Raises: stand with legs in parallel, hip distance apart. Lift heels whilst keeping weight through the whole of the front of the foot. Slowly lower your heel back to the floor whilst reaching your heels backwards.
- Standing Achilles Stretch: stand on a step with your legs in parallel, heels off the edge of the step. Reach your heels down towards the floor to stretch through the back of the ankles and legs.
Let me know how you get on!