Monthly Archives: December 2016

foot-stretch

Fitness for Your Feet

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Because our feet are the most used & abused part of the body, it’s important to incorporate foot exercises into our wellness routine.

Our feet provide us with flexibility, help to absorb shock, distribute the weight of the body, and assist in adapting to surface changes when walking, running, & climbing. Lack of proper strength and flexibility can lead to fallen arches, ankle, knee, hip, back, shoulder, & neck problems, and potential pain or injury.

Walking is the best overall foot exercise. Each step puts your foot through its full range of motion, from the time your heel hits the ground until you push off with your toes. In addition to walking, flexibility and resistance exercises can also help keep your feet healthy.

Flexibility exercises. Exercises that improve flexibility help keep your feet limber. The easiest way to build flexibility is through slow and gentle daily stretches, focusing on one group of muscles at a time.

Resistance exercises. Resistance exercises are those in which your muscles work against some type of resistance, such as weights or exercise bands. Resistance exercises strengthen muscles, which, in turn, provide better support and protection for the foot as a whole.

One of the most effective foot exercises is the foot stretch. For this exercise you will need to sit on the floor and stretch out your legs. Loop a towel or resistance band around your feet. Keep your heels on the floor and pull the towel with both your hands and draw the toes and the middle of your foot towards your body. Stay in this position for 5 seconds and then go back to the initial position.

Don’t do foot exercises if they cause you any pain. And if you have arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, or structural foot problems that might affect your ability to exercise, consult a foot care specialist first.

“Footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down.”  ~ Unknown

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Best Time to Exercise

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If you’re a morning person, starting your morning with physical activity sets the day’s pace. Your mind is focused and you can complete your exercise before other distractions intrude. It jump-starts your metabolism and keeps it elevated for hours, and that means you’re burning more calories for much of the day as a result. By exercising at this time you will find that the increased intake of oxygen and improved circulation of blood in your body will help you stay energized and get your workday off to a good start. Moreover, research has indicated that people who exercise in the mornings tend to be more consistent in their fitness regimen. If you do choose early in the morning though, take extra time to warm up your muscles.
If the best time for you is later in the day, you may find that’s the time when you are at your high in strength, flexibility and endurance. Exercising at this time of day may also help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Avoid exercise within two hours of going to bed as it can have the effect of making you too alert and may cause you difficulty falling asleep.

Conclusion: the best time to exercise is the time you will actually do it!  If you are not a morning person don’t force it. You will only succeed in beating yourself up and feeling guilty. Don’t go to Dr. Google and Nurse Facebook. You will find thousands of articles on the ‘one best time’ to exercise. There is no ‘one best time’. The best time for you is the time that works best for you.

“You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” ~Les Brown

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