"The function of the foot goes way beyond the scrunching of the toes and the stabilizing of the ankle. The foot is the platform for your entire body. The muscles in your feet need to be strong enough to keep your entire body moving as smoothly (and as long) as possible. […] The current state of your feet is a future projection of how well you will be able to move as you get older."
This book is a bible for anyone, who has a body - not just for fitness trainers. The importance of feet is something I like to stress with all my clients, because the feet are our foundation that hold us up. And if the feet don’t function properly, our entire body starts to crumble. It’s very sad to see how many people suffer from some kind of foot problem; foot pain when walking, bunions, calluses, corns, hammertoes, blisters, heel spurs, the list is endless! And all this in such a relatively small body part: the foot. A body part we barely ever pay attention to unless it gives us problems (really, don’t we do that to the whole body?!). Here are some reasons, why we should start paying attention to our feet:
a quarter of all your body’s bones are in the feet
there are 33 joints in each foot
there are more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in a foot
just like the fingers in your hand, your toes should be able to move separately from your feet, and separately from each other
if you lose the ability to move your feet, you lose the ability to walk, run, jump, dance, and move
In “Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief”, Katy Bowman takes us through the exciting landscape that is the anatomy of our feet. She explains what our feet should be able to do, and how we have untrained them from these skills. She then goes on to give foot exercises and modifications to gait and posture to address all foot pain causing problems.
"We have weak, underdeveloped muscles within the foot and have placed large loads on the muscles of the lower leg, on the joints in the foot, and on passive tissues (those that cannot adapt to strength) like the fascial systems and ligaments of the foot."
Imagine if a child never learns how to hold a pen, play the piano, or button a shirt. We would be worried. Yet, we stuff our feet in shoes, and never pay any attention to how they should move freely. We then stop taking care of the rest of our body, and many of us carry too much weight on our small feet, causing extreme pressure and friction on these tiny joints.
It is vital we start to look at our feet as an intricate system of muscles, that need to be moved just like our glutes, hamstrings or triceps. The revolution in healthy footwear has started to go in the right direction of getting us out of too tight, too high shoes, and into more free moving soles. However, as this book will convince you, the best shoe is no shoe. Walking barefoot as often as you can is vital for good foot health.
"Foot pain can also restrict the whole-body movements necessary to stabilize your blood sugar, preserve your bone density, and maintain your weight. "
Even if you don’t have foot pain (yet), and if you don’t think of your feet as important, to me the most important question is always this: how do I want to age? I want to be able to move freely, take care of myself, I want to be able to get myself dressed, and get myself from point A to B by walking, driving or riding a bike. I want to be independent, and not be a burden on someone else. And in order to do all of this, I need a body that functions well. That doesn’t mean I don’t love my sparkly heels on occasion, I am just very mindful what I do with my feet the rest of the time. There is always a balance to be found between optimal health and reality.
Grab yourself a copy of this book, and start learning all about how you can help your feet.
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