• Paul D'Arco

The Key to Healthy Feets and Fresh Cleats

I know there is no such word as feets, but the title of this blog needed to rhyme.

Shoes have ruined your feet….but its never too late to fix them.

Your parents have been putting those death traps on your feet since you were a baby, but should we really be wearing them? First, let’s discuss why we have shoes. Shoes were invented to do one thing and one thing only: to protect your feet from outside elements. Shoes nowadays have extra cushion, extra arch support, insoles, and other nonsense that's just covering up the fact that you don’t know how to use your feet properly.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you don’t use it, you'll lose it?”

The arch of your foot is made up of a very complicated set of muscle groups that control your toes and balls of your feet. If you have arch support built into your shoe, then that arch support is creating that arch for you. Well, the problem with this is that an outside object is creating an arch that your muscles should be doing for you. Since there's support to create the arch for you, the muscles in your feet start to deteriorate causing more problems than solutions.

So why does my doctor prescribe me orthotics (supports) for my feet?

When you go into a doctor’s office, you usually have some sort of pain or ailment. The doctor’s only job is to remove whatever pain or ailment you have, regardless of what the solution may be. So if you complain about foot or arch pain, they prescribe a support for your foot. Yes, the pain may be removed, but it's masking the problem and not fixing the root cause of the issue. Your arches are weak!

If my arches are weak, how can I strengthen them?

When one of my clients comes to me asking how to fix their flat feet, I first warn them that this is a process that could take 2-4 weeks to see drastic improvements. This is NOT an overnight fix, but, if don't properly, is a permanent fix.

The first thing I would have them do is just to spread the toes as wide as they can on the ground and grip the floor with their toes. This is a great place to start to help the process of rebuilding your arches. You can do this all the time too, even when you're sitting. If you feel as though you've gone beyond the point of the basics, then you can try a more advanced exercise of standing on one leg and grabbing objects with your toes and moving them. For example, take that red solo cup from your beer pong game and put it on the floor. Throw some quarters around that cup and start putting the quarters into that cup. It's a great way to start to understand that the muscles in your feet are just as important at the guns in your arms.

Fresh cleats was in the title….why?

Basically what I meant by this phrase was that one of the best things you can practice is NOT wearing shoes as much as your life allows. If you have a workplace that is cool with you going barefoot, then do it. Rise Above Fitness recommends all of the clients to take their shoes off to practice these principals while lifting weights. Besides, if you wear your shoes less, then they won’t get as dirty and smelly. Deep down, we all want to keep our shoes fresh to death.

-Coach Paul-

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