Words by Yamuna Zake
It’s officially the first day of Summer, even though the heavy rain in London tells us otherwise! Nevertheless we can still dream of sunnier skies, shorter hemlines and closed shoes becoming open, allowing our feet more freedom to move.
However, freedom without education often translates into collapsed arches, swollen ankles, puffy, pasty, and weak feet. Did you know that you can actually build stronger and improved feet while wearing sliders or flat sandals? You just need to learn how to walk with awareness in them and you can work all the muscles of your legs from your feet.
When the weather decides to comply and the temperature rises, you will find that the summer is actually the ideal time to work on your feet. The body responds effortlessly and faster to nurturing because they are not closed up in shoes all day. The joints can increase their range of motion, and muscles can release tension with ease without the contraction maintained from cold weather. Working on your feet in the Summer will help them to adjust easily, when you have to wear closed shoes again.
Strengthening exercises will assist in improving the way your body transfers weight when walking and will enhance the way your foot works with the other; this is called your gait. Paying attention to your gait, will allow you to see which parts of your feet you do not use when you walk.
I created “The Walking Test” for you, to see if you are actually using your entire foot. Once you take the test and see the parts of your feet you do not use, you can then begin to re-educate and retrain your feet. Click here to watch The Walking Test.
As range of movement is increased and the whole foot is used when walking; increased foot flexibility, muscle tone and strength will be experienced, alongside greater ease of movement in the knees, hips & torso.
Here are a few tips for improving foot function and muscle tone in your legs when wearing flats and opened toe shoes:
1. Stay mindful in your feet when you walk or stand.
2. Walk with your feet facing straight out in front on you. Stand with feet parallel and your weight on the outside of your feet at all times. This lifts your arch, ankles, inner calves and thighs.
3. Keep moving your toes lifting them up and pressing them down into sandals. Try pressing from pinky toe to big toe each toe down toward the floor. The more you move your toes, the more you keep the muscles working up the leg.
4. Practice the walking test.
5. 5 minutes of daily foot fitness exercises will aid in restoring full foot function, you will be able to wear any shoes you want because you know how to fully use your feet!
If your feet and ankles have a tendency to swell during the summer all these tips should help, but using my Foot Ecstasy cremé is a must. Massage it into your feet following the foot ritual instructions here and watch your circulation improve and swelling decrease rapidly.
MYSHUBOX.COM offers a complimentary service that will assist you along your journey to Foot Fitness. If you have any queries about Foot Fitness, The Walking Test from Yamuna Zake or questions about Yamuna’s Body Blends, just “Ask Yamuna”. Email your enquiry to Yamuna at AskYamuna@myshubox.com.
This piece has been edited and condensed.