Our poor feet! They put up with so much and receive very little tender care. Imagine if when we were born, we put our hands into leather mittens and then in our 60s, to take them out and behold the poor misshapen things. This is what we do to our feet.
However, the good news is that our amazing bodies are so wonderfully made that even at this late stage we can undo much of the damage we have inflicted on our feet.
Many branches of medicine recognise the importance of feet. Reflexology holds that all the nerve endings end in our feet and if we massage these, then we can affect change in various parts of our bodies. Acupuncture believes that our bodies are interconnected and weaknesses in one part can affect another and also exercising one part can have beneficial results in another part.
Katy Bowman has written a terrific book on foot exercises, called Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief.
Having foot pain stops mobility, stopping mobility turns the body and mind inward and then there is a general decline that is hard to reverse.
So stay mobile as long as you can.
Luckily, Katy gives simple exercises which can have a big impact.
The first thing to do is take off your shoes and socks. Stand on a smooth surface. Spread out your toes. Try and move each toe separately, This gets easier with time. Try doing some balancing, holding on to a wall or chair. Again, this improves with practice. . Go up on toes and back on heels. Do a few knee bends. Start SLOWLY. A few minutes is great. A couple of times a day. Walk barefoot around the house. Wiggle the toes. . When wearing shoes, choose comfortable shoes that allow your toes to move around and with a low heel that does not throw all your weight on to the ball of your foot. No wonder you have bunions. But by wearing a strap, you can re align your toes.
When walking, walk straight. Sounds simple but amazing the amount of people who turn their feet in or out. Align your body. No point in sticking the head out, you will not arrive any faster, in fact if you keep your body straight, walk through the hips and keep the feet straight, you develop an easy lope and find yourself moving along in an easy and relaxed manner , without putting any strain on the body.
Stretching the calves is now recognised as one of the most important exercises you can do. Roll a full size bath towel into a firm sausage. Put the toes and ball of your foot on the towel and lower the heel to the floor and feel the stretch. Do a few times and change feel. Leave the towel there and return a few times during the day.
Then sit on the floor or on a chair and bring foot up on other knee and gently massage the sole of your foot, especially under the arch. Switch feet.
For more of these exercises see
Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief by Katy Bowman. download on kindle.