Get Stronger Feet, Walk Barefoot!

Summer brings fun, sunshine, beaches and …the increased risk for Plantar fasciitis?!!! So many of us have switched from wearing heavier winter shoes to sandals and flip flops.  Sometimes the drastic change from shoes that offer some support to sandals that are flat and offer no real support is too drastic and cause pain in the feet, inflammation, and might even lead to bone spurs on the heel overtime.  What’s the solution?  We’re not going to tell you to wear better shoes, or find better sandals.  The answer is to strengthen your feet and walk barefoot as much as possible!

The truth is shoes, no matter how “supportive” make your feet lazy. When you’re wearing a shoe, the foot loses out on the opportunity to use all intrinsic, small muscles that are responsible keeping the foot strong and providing it’s own internal arch support.  Developing these muscles makes the arches of the foot stronger, which can help avoid the strain and injury of when the plantar fascia is overstretched or  sometimes becomes tight and loses elasticity because the muscles of the feet are not working to provide the support and pulls on the heel -this can eventually lead to heel spurs!.  The plantar fascia (connective tissue that runs along the bottom length of the foot) can be strained due to weak internal arch support that has occurred from years of not allowing the feet to express the movement of walking using all the muscles. (If you would like to have a better idea of what shoes are less evil than others, especially for runners, then check out this comprehensive buying guide by Zoey Miller of TheBabbleOut blog.)

Walking with shoes all the time, including slippers while indoors, forces overuse of muscles in the legs like calves, thighs, and glutes, cause unnecessary fatigue and pain in the joints that you wouldn’t necessarily believe are from your shoes.  We believe the best thing for people to do these days would be to walk barefoot everyday as much as you can!  No, you probably shouldn’t walk around barefoot on the the City streets, but in a clean park, your back yard, at home and during certain types of exercise…We advocate walking barefoot more and more and more!!!! Can’t stress that enough.

For more information on how to get healthier feet, ankles, knees, and hips please contact us at smarterbodies.com

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