If I were to ask you to write down the body part or parts that you thought had the most to do with your locomotion (movement), balance, or physical power, which would you choose? Well if you didn't think of what body part touches the ground first, our feet, then you're putting the float way before the tractor. The feet are the body's foundation; they transfer the energy from ground contact up through the legs (ankles, knees, hips,) to produce stability for movement and physical activity. Your feet are like the wheels of a car, allowing your body to stand, balance, squat, lunge, or move however it needs to. Think about it, have you ever seen a Mardi Gras parade that had floats without the wheels? Nope, and that's because nobody likes watching a stalled parade!
According to a study done by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 77% of American adults have experienced foot pain which restricted their activities (walking, jogging, running, and standing). Although a staggering 25% of American adults currently suffer from flat feet or fallen arches, the culprit is not their genetics. According to the APMA, we can attribute our foot pain or dysfunction to neglect via improper care like ill-fitting shoes (men) or heels (ladies) worn over the life time. It is not normal for your feet to hurt, and if so it may be a sign of weakness or even worse the onset of a disease or injury (Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Tendinitis, Gout, bone spurs or breaks, and tendon/ligament ruptures or sprains). Here are some things that you can do at home to help you strengthen your feet and increase your physical ability and efficiency:
One quarter of your bones is in the foot, supporting the body and carrying it to all that it wants to do. The stronger the feet are the faster, further, and more efficiently you're able to go and do whatever you want. Take the time, 10 minutes a few times per week, to strengthen your feet by either using the fun exercises listed above or search the internet for foot strengthening exercises. This small commitment to your feet, or checking the tires, can help you avoid flats (sprained/twisted ankles, bunions, calculus) or blowouts during your travels, especially if you don't have "Triple A" (aka health insurance). Take the time to take care of the two things that take you everywhere.
Stay Active, Stay Strong,
James F. Thomas