‘Great posture starts with your feet,’ says Fran Brown, Pilates Expert.
There is a lot of talk these days about the importance of ‘Core Strength’, ‘Core Stability’, and ‘Improve Posture’. We worry about our weight, try to eat healthily, get our eyes tested and make dreaded dentist appointments. But do you take care of your feet?
Did you know that our feet have postural muscles too, and they are in fact the foundation of our body? Exercising them can improve posture, prevent injuries and ward off aches and pains.
Perhaps most importantly, looking after our feet could prevent life-threatening falls. The feet are definitely a neglected part of the body.
Did you know that, according to the NHS, one in three adults over 65 will have at least one fall a year — and they are the most common cause of injury-related deaths in people over 75., This is because they can lead to fatal hip fractures and head injuries.
With just a little bit of regular maintenance and consideration, millions of people could be saved from future problems.
WHY YOUR FEET NEED A WORKOUT
‘Great posture starts with your feet,’ says Fran Brown, Pilates Expert. ‘The foundation of a building provides a base of stability that supports the entire structure, therefore a weak foundation leads to collapse. The same happens with your feet.’
SO JUST HOW FIT ARE YOUR FEET?
Like any muscles, your foot muscles need exercising.
This becomes even more important as we age because we naturally lose muscle strength and muscle mass.
This muscle loss can start as young as 30 but tends to accelerate after 50 and, while lean muscle mass generally contributes up to about 50 per cent of your body weight as a young adult, it’s closer to 25 per cent by the time you get to 75 to 80.
This means the muscles in our feet also weaken with age, so ensuring that they are in fighting form is essential if we’re to prevent falls (and other problems).
Although good foot core strength ensures the bones of your feet are held in the correct place and your body is aligned properly, foot health is also about making sure that supporting structures, such as the ligaments, are functioning as they should, that you have the correct amount of flexion and mobility in your ankle to make sure your foot is functioning normally.
Then there is proprioception. This is your awareness of where the different parts of your body are in time and space, even when you can’t see them. Good proprioception in your feet improves balance, and reduces the chance of falls.
Fran says ‘in my Pilates classes we also focus on exercising the core muscles of the feet, ankles, calves and include exercises to improve balance, proprioception and co-ordination so essential for preventing trips and falls’.
Walking and dancing are excellent for strength and balance. Try and include some regular exercises for your feet and ankles or join a Pilates or Yoga class and it will benefit your overall health in the future.
Fran Brown is an Entrepreneur living in Berkhamsted who has been in the fitness industry for over 37 years.
Fran Brown is the Creator of ‘The Fran Brown Pilates Method’ and Costa Calida Spanish Holidays (Pilates & Yoga Activity Holidays in Spain) as Featured in the Daily Mail.
Contact number: +44 7900 858985