While our feet can bear the brunt of our busy daily activities, and are often ignored or not taken care of properly; fitness experts are now claiming that they are the foundation for fitness and a healthy well-being.
A person’s feet and ankles hold approximately 25 percent of the body’s bones, are the starting point for movement, and the foundation for a person’s stability. Therefore when we focus on strengthening our feet, we essentially increase our balance and stability.
Unfortunately, feet are often neglected, and forgotten about as other parts of the body tend to take priority; especially during fitness routines. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) released a survey in 2014 stating that eight out of ten people in the United States have or have had issues with their feet. The survey also suggested that a quarter of adults refrain from their fitness routine because of pain associated with their feet.
APMA spokesman Dr. Howard Osterman stated that most injuries with feet are caused by overuse, or doing too much without proper foot support. He also notes that while toes do not require the dexterity that fingers do, they still need some dexterity; and this is where foot strength plays an important role when it comes to an individual`s exercise routine.
Osterman, who also acts as a podiatric advisor to the Washington Wizards basketball team, strongly advises the value of regular foot exercises as it relates to organized sports. But even the general public can see the benefits of incorporating simple muscle-building foot exercises as well. Some simple activities you can do to increase your foot strengthen include:
- Grabbing marbles, a towel, or anything with your feet.
- Standing on one foot for approximately ten seconds.
- Spreading toes, or lifting and pointing them individually.
- Rolling a smaller ball underneath your foot.
- Standing on tiptoes.
Adding an addition five minutes to focus on foot strength with the above activities will not only be good for your feet, but for the entire foundation of your body as well.