There is much to be gained from moving and walking in terms of improvements to our mental and physical health. However, we can move and walk about freely and repeatedly inside and out, without purposefully challenging our bodies in ways that could
advance our toe, foot and ankle strength, flexibility and turn, balance reactions.
This month’s blog faces these missed
opportunities head on, with the bull’s
horns firmly grasped.
Firmly grasped point number one:
Sprinkle walking on your toes around your home, place of work or out on ‘a walk’ a few steps at a time, through your day.
This staged approach (as opposed to walking for extended periods of time) gently stimulates your muscles and joints into action without over straining them.
Firmly grasped point number two:
Sprinkle rising up onto your toes again for short periods of time, around your home, place of work or out and about when waiting in a queue, or anytime you’re, well, just waiting.
Firmly grasped point number three:
If you treat your mind and body to any standing exercises, consider if you could do part or all of the movement on your toes. E.g. squats, side ends, arm stretches.
Firmly grasped point number four:
When you are walking, vary the PACE and SIZE of your steps while up on your toes. Making both bigger and smaller strides in comparison to your usual stride length, makes a considerable difference to the effort required
i.e. A WHOLE LOT MORE!
As a progression add in:
- stepping sideways, backwards
- feet side by side then wide apart – feet parallel or staggered
- Holding your heels raised for longer periods of time
Firmly grasped point number five:
When you walk up the stairs or up a hill, which we normally do on our toes, consider exactly how you do it.
How much do you lengthen your spine?
Do you coordinate your steps with your breathing?
Do you purposefully recruit your abdominal, calf and front thigh (quadriceps) muscles?
Attempt to action these points when you next walk up stairs or up a hill.
I challenge you to consider how you can influence your own bull, horns and all. Work your toes feet and ankles in the ways I have suggested above, to help bring about greater strength, flexibility and balance reactions for you whole body.
Otherwise my friends, that is an unopened
gift left out in the rain.