W
e were not designed to wear shoes. Did you know that one quarter of the bones and the muscles in your body are located in your ankles and feet? This means that your feet are supposed to be free and are potentially very dexterous, as much as your hands. Instead, we wrap them tight in shoes, and we load the ankle with all the work!

 

Do me a favor and for only 5 minutes try to wear either thick gloves for skiing or worker gloves. You will see how little freedom your hands are left with and how much more you will be using your arms (in a funny and rough way) to get things done. Your sensitivity diminishes immensely and the information that is sent to your brain is so much poorer and approximative. It’s like going all of a sudden from college to pre-K! Also the brain and the nervous system (not only bones and muscles) are affected: the absence of movement–refined movement–causes the unused cells (neurons) to die off.

 

Going back to moving your peripheries as often as possible during the day will reactivate not only your feet but also large segments of your brain! Nothing can be better and simpler than walking barefoot around the house to bring your feet back to life!

 

detail of woman barefoot walking on wood floor indoorIncorporate barefoot time into your schedule. Consider making your home a shoe-free zone. Dedicate your feet to a little nice routine a couple of evenings per week.

 3 very simple habits that will bring your feet back to life:

  1. Take off your shoes as soon as you get to the door and walk barefoot: that sounds like no big deal but it’s already a great amount of exercise for the little muscles in the feet (the intrinsics) that are barely used when we wear shoes
  2. After you drop your heavy bag and do a few things to get comfy, walk to the bathroom and start running hot water in the tub: either take a bath or just soak your feet.
  3. As you are sitting on the couch waiting for dinner to be ready (or Seamless to deliver), execute this very simple and relaxing exercise: Slide your fingers in between your toes and hold them there for few seconds. Your fingers are now acting like one of those sponge separators that you use for your pedicure (but a little more intense :-). Holding strong with your hands, circle the foot around and gently force the toes in flexion and extension. This stretches not only the toes but also radiates to the plantar fascia. If your toes are very stiff and don’t allow the fingers to slide in between use a massage cream in the beginning. That will help to set up the lacing and the toes will have the opportunity to loosen up.

 

close up of feet of a girl putting them into the water with flowers

It’s hard to believe until you try but I swear that your feet will “look” different and be more healthy!

 

I urge you–especially if you complain about sore feet and tired legs–to give this simple and quick routine a try. There will be many more blogs and vlogs coming up with tips on habits and exercise that will make your sore and tired feet feel better!

 

Take a picture of your “Barefoot Ritual” and tag @ilariacavagna and hashtag #HighHeelRescue on Instagram!

 

Tweet me what you think! Can’t wait to hear!