When we last checked in I was writing about shoes, so this week I thought I’d write about not wearing shoes, or wearing the wrong shoes.
For all of the time we spend grooming and showing off our summer feet, there is one piece missing: we are not really taking good care of our feet.
Flip Flops. We all wear them to the beach or run out of the house wearing them. But I have seen them in airports, at rock concerts, and even on waiters! Flip Flops are the summer footwear of convenience and ease. But here’s the rub – they can be really bad for your feet and body.
Wearing them for short periods of time is fine. But prolonged wear and walking can result in back pain, shin splints, calf pain, plantar fasciitis and more. Because they offer no arch support or shock absorption, wearing them on the concrete in rough. Not to mention the dirt and germs you get from wearing them in the city. Yikes!
So since you will likely be wearing them at some point, and when you’re not you’re probably wearing some other unsupportive footgear, here are some things you can do to make your feet happy feet.
1. Stand with your feet parallel. Making sure that your feet are firmly planted on the ground, lift and open your toes wide and hold for 5 counts then release. Repeat this at least 5 times, a couple of times per day. It’s a nice stretch and it wakes your feet up.
2. Stand with your heels together and toes apart, squeezing your inner thighs together (see photo). Engaging your abdominal muscles, slowly lift up onto your toes and then gently lower your heels back to the ground. Why engage your abs? It will help you to balance. Repeat this 10 times, doing up to 3 sets. This is also a good way to get toned calves.
3. A Pilates take on the Monty Python “Silly Walks” – Walk across the room and back on your toes, keeping your abdominal muscles contracted for balance. Repeat 2-3 times. Then do the same on your heels. Yes, you will feel silly. But it’s good for your balance, strengthens your feet and lengthens the muscles in your legs.
And if you’re a high-heel wearing enthusiast, these exercises also apply. So take off your shoes and walk around barefoot. Do it now!
(P.S. My photographer is crooked, it's not me).