This is one area of our bodies we should pay attention to as we age. There are 52 bones, 33 joints 100 ligaments and 40 muscles + many tendons that connect those 40 muscles to the bones, not to mention over 7000 nerve endings in each foot. The foot can be divided up into three areas, Hindfoot – displaces forces from above, the Midfoot – helps with side to side forces, the Forefoot – which includes the toes, should be very flexible and acts to make sure the body transits forces and signals upward so that the body above will interact properly to the surface below.
So can you see why it is so important to keep this area of our bodies strong and healthy especially as we age. By simply using a trigger ball every night under the foot to stimulate the tissue is a great place to start. The foot also loves vibration training, so if you a PowerPlate your foot will thank you for it. We also want to work on the ankle mobility, which can be as simple as holding onto your foot and moving the ankle in all directions.
Awareness is another thing I would like to discuss as I find in my training practice, that the more my clients are aware of the way the stand or move, the more likely they are to create a better (probably different) pattern of movement or standing than they are currently doing.
Shoe choice is another thing that should be taken seriously, as most shoes out there don’t look anything like a foot, and often have way to much cushioning for the body to receive any sensory feedback from the terrain below, and unfortunately this is where we can come unstuck. I like to use a minimalistic (barefoot) shoe so my foot can feet every part of the ground below, but just a reminder it takes time to adjust to such a shoe, but I believe worth the time. (I use a Merrell Vapour Shoe)