Getting to Know Your Feet

Start with Our Recommended Sensory Foot Exercise

 

When it comes to running and fitness, very few people stop and think about the two most important tools: your feet. They contain 52 bones, 66 joints, 40 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons, and ligaments— collectively forming two of the body’s most beautifully efficient mechanisms. It’s about time that we got to know them!

 

SENSORY FOOT EXERCISES

 

LOOK: Take off your shoes and socks. Look at your feet. Become familiar with their shape and condition. This will help you understand and identify the changes that will take place as you transition to moving and running in minimalist shoes.

 

TOUCH: Massage is one of the best ways to stimulate the nerves and muscles of the feet—and it feels good, too! Try these exercises while sitting down, barefoot.

 

1. Run your fingers between your toes – push back and forth, twisting your hand a gently. 2. Use your elbow to rub the entire base of the foot.

3. Use your hand to push toes back and forth creating a gentle stretch 4. Administer gentle pressure with your thumbs, moving towards your toes. Feel and massage your tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue

 

 

FEEL: Thousands of neurological receptors in the feet send valuable information to the brain to tell your body where it is in space and details about the terrain. Actively stimulating these receptors improves balance, increases circulation, and enhances overall foot health.
 

 

SENSE THE SIGNALS

After practicing these exercises, notice how your entire foot feels. Remember these sensations the next time you practice self-massage and when you begin to move and run in Vibram FiveFingers.

 

Walk on different surfaces, with bare feet or in Vibram FiveFingers, explore your home and its surroundings. Notice how your feet feel on smooth vs. rough surfaces. Try to sense/recognize the signals that your feet send to your brain.

 

You’ll probably notice that your foot strike and stride instinctively adjust to different surfaces. Try to Experiment in a safe, controlled way on grass, carpeting, pavement, dirt, pebbles, and smooth rocks. Keep your eyes open for potential hazards or unfriendly objects.

 

We hope that you have had a chance to get to know feet and explore the world around you in a new way. Are you ready for the next challenge?