MOVE! HOW AND WHY TO INCLUDE FEET TOO
Like any other body part it is true: use it or you will lose it. Click below for recommendations regarding how to use your feet as they were magnificently designed, fully, daily as it relates to whole body well being, longevity, movement efficiency, energy efficiency and more...
“I have a question for you. Raise your hand if you are wearing gloves today.
Nobody? Ok. Raise your hand if you are not wearing shoes today. Hmmmm...."
Stephanie Welch, Shoes Are Not Paleo
Opening remarks at the 2016 Ancestral Health Symposium
ABOVE ALL FIND FUN ENJOYABLE WAYS TO
MAKE FEET A PART OF YOUR DAILY LIFESTYLE
at home, work or play, with your family or likeminded people, by inspiring others...
your current mindset and capabilities
to your surroundings and going beyond the norm.
Think of your feet like your hands. They don't need to be fixed as much as they need to be challenged.
Think INSTANT GRATIFICATION…
“You don’t do a particular exercise because it is good for a particular body part. You do it because it is fun and it appeals to you. The fun resides in the challenge to adapt to your environment. The physical improvement is the beneficial outcome, but you need to find instant gratification in doing exactly what you’re doing when you’re doing it.”
–Erwan Le Corre, Founder, MovNat
The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes | Daniel Howell PhD
Barefoot Strong | Dr. Emily Splichal
TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF
LET THEM PLAY! ON NATURAL, VARIED TERRAIN
...as often as possible. Grass, sand, water, trees, moss, stones, boulders, brick to name a few. Vary the terrain and textures for different mobility, stability, strength and sensory experiences. Increase level of difficulty and speed over time.
"Can you walk like a human?" asks Rafe Kelley of Evolve Move Play. He beautifully depicts what this means in a video here.
DIY if you have to! Here are a few simple solutions to including natural terrain in your home, yard or office:
1. BOOT TRAY FILLED WITH ROCKS. Fill a boot tray with river rocks and place it in common areas like in front of the sink or in the shower. Inspired by Phillip Beach and Anna Hartman of MovementREV who recommend at least 20 minutes per day standing on rocks or similar terrain to provide sensory input, activate muscles and eliminate back pain.
2. CREATE A FOOT PATH. "...create a safe 'foot path' in your backyard that stays debris free but includes 3-4 different natural surfaces for 'exercising the feet.' Just gathering rocks in an area and having everyone 'tidy up' can be a fun project." This via Katy Bowman and Nutritious Movement.
DO THESE EVERYDAY MOVEMENTS
WITH YOUR BARE FEET
in order to maximize sensory input, mobility and stability
pick things up with your toes
get down and back up off the ground (aim for no hands or knees)
go up and down steps
hop, skip and jump
play with active kids, do what they do
climb! up trees, over rails, roots and rocks, on jungle gyms and more
and anything else you'd like! :)
DO THESE ADVANCED MOVES WITH BARE FEET
BE MINDFUL ABOUT WEARING FOOTWEAR
Default to feet. Use footwear when required or desired.
This includes tapered toe socks and slippers. Please reassess what you would consider truly necessary.* When you do wear it, choose footwear that allows for the most natural foot function possible.
*Here's a start: contrary to popular belief, it is NOT illegal to drive your car without shoes in any of the 50 states of the USA.
USE MYOFASCIAL MODALITIES
...when the foot's soft tissues could use a nudge, or a boost, to help return them to their natural elastic state, in conjunction with your efforts to improve your movement quality with daily movement. Examples:
Trigger Point Performance Therapy
DO CORRECTIVE EXERCISES AS NEEDED
combined with the above to progress to the desired level of foot function
There are plenty of options online. We have listed just a few of our favorites and will continue to add to this list:
Correct Toes Videos with Dr. Ray McClanahan
Short Foot / Foot to Core Variation with Dr. Emily Splichal
Improving your Foot Mobility and Strength by Improving Your Foot Tripod with Kate Galliett
Sole Training with Stacey Lei Krauss
Take your feet back from being a shoe-shaped feet to being a feet-shaped feet with Natural Lifestyle Coaching