We’re always talking about how important exercise is, but usually our emphasis lies on areas like our tummies, butts, and thighs. Guest expert and chiropractor Dr. Stacy Irvine stopped by Cityline to talk about the importance of foot exercises, especially for those of us who want to try the new “barefoot” technology shoes available in stores. We have 107 ligaments in each foot, and it’s important to keep them in tip-top shape! Here are Stacy’s easy exercises:
- Short Foot: With all of your toes spread out on the floor, try to draw your toes toward your heel by lifting your arch and pulling your toes along the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat five times on each foot. When this gets easy, try the exercise standing. This is great for strengthening your arches, to get ready for the barefoot shoes.
- Piano Toes: This exercise is very simple and can be done any time you have a few minutes when you are sitting. In bare feet you work on spreading your toes out and then try to lift and press each toe individually (like you are playing a piano with your toes). This is important to keep your toes functioning properly and also helps with your balance and kinesthetic awareness.
- Quarter Heel Raise: Place a quarter under the ball of your foot. While pressing on the quarter, slowly raise your heel as high as you can. Always try to maintain contact between your foot and the quarter. Repeat 10 times on each side. When you feel strong enough you can try this exercise standing. This will help with your ankle stability and to strengthen the lateral muscles of your lower leg.
Now that you’ve warmed up your feet, you’re ready to buy yourself a new pair of “barefoot” shoes. Here are the shoes that Stacy showed us:
Merrell Wonder Glove: Available at Walking on a Cloud (Stacy was wearing these)
Nike Free Run 3: Available at Sport Chek
New Balance New Sky Minimus: Available at Walking on a Cloud
New Balance Minimus: Available at Walking on a Cloud
Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport: Available at Sport Chek
Vibram KSO Kids: Available at Sport Chek
Merrell Wonderglove in Mulberry: Available at Walking on a Cloud
Ecco BIOM: Available at Walking on a Cloud
Merrell Pace Glove: Available at Walking on a Cloud
Merrell Holiday Wrap: Available at Walking on a Cloud
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