Updated: May 13, 2021
April is National Foot Health Awareness Month. Did you know the average person takes 10,000 steps a day? Those steps add up to more than 3 million steps each year! According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population has at least 1 foot problem annually.
Do your feet constantly hurt?
Do you have trouble taking those first few steps in the morning?
Do you get foot cramps?
Do you have trouble standing for a prolonged period of time?
Does your back feel achy after a short or long walk?
If you answered yes to any of these or all of these questions.
Spoiler alert! It may be the flip flops or shoes you are wearing or a lack of incorporating stretches into your fitness routine. Did you know a lack of support in your footwear can cause back pain?
Five years ago, I discovered that my favorite white Havaianas were causing my hips to go out of alignment and occasionally experiencing low back pain. You may be wondering how could that be? She's a Pilates Instructor. Well... although I do take pride in strengthening cores to prevent injuries; including my own. Truth be told. I like wearing shoes that are bad for my feet like heels and flip flops. And the flip flop became my favorite shoe after endless hours and years of standing in high heels as a corporate spokesperson. Nothing beats the feeling of slipping on a pair of flip flops after hours of wearing uncomfortable shoes. Can we agree?
But did you know? Flip flops offer no arch or heel support and you end up gripping the flip flop with your toes to walk properly - causing misalignment. Although, they do a great job of keeping your feet cool and your freshly painted piggies intact. Wearing them for too long can cause a lot of damage. The thin material of a flip flop can not absorb the force you place on your foot. So the force settles in your knee, hip, and back. Therefore causing aches and pains in your low back. What's a Flip Flop lover to do?? Do some research and find some shoes, sneakers, or flip flops that have arch support.
Also, make sure to alternate your shoes on a daily basis. You can still wear your favorite Havaianas. Just keep the use to a minimum like on beach days or for a quick stroll to the market. But please don't hang out in them all day.
When we think of muscles in our body. We never think about the muscles in our feet. Did you know? Each foot is made up of 28 bones and 30 joints. And more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They all work together to provide support, balance, and mobility. The muscles in your feet are just as important as your biceps, triceps, and abs. So it's very important to take care of and pay attention to your feet. You'll need your feet to carry you an average of 115,000 miles in your lifetime. It could be more if you are into running, hiking, or even long walks on the beach. Where are my weekend warriors at? I hope you are reading this.
Activities such as Pilates, Yoga, and Barre classes are so beneficial for your foot. They focus on footwork, ankle strength, foot mobility, and ankle stability. So do yourself a favor and try a Pilates or Yoga class. Over time you'll enjoy balance in daily activities, achieve a stronger walking or running stride and experience increased circulation throughout your feet and ankles. Most importantly your feet will be happy and will continue to carry you to all corners of the earth. Happy Walking!
Low back pain? Don't worry I've got you covered! Release your low back with this gentle "Restorative Stretch" on The Core Collection™. My optimal goal as a Pilates Instructor and Functional Anatomy instructor is to help you move well, play often, and sleep better. ;)