Staying fit and keeping your feet healthy can be done with some stretching.
As the summer continues to provide us with sunny days, many of us are finding reasons to get active so our bodies are healthy and, of course, beach-ready. For those of you suffering from osteoarthritic joints and pain in the feet, yoga, a form of holistic prevention, is a great way to combat inflammatory bone joints so that you can work out without taking a toll on your feet.
Staying fit is good for your bones
According to a recent article in the New York Times, the easiest way to combat arthritis in the beginning stages is to drop those pounds. Even a loss of 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference when it comes to your joints, and you will also have more confidence knowing that you look your best. "I can't stress enough how important body weight is," Glen Johnson, M.D. told the New York Times, "with our national crisis of obesity, we will see more and more arthritis."
However, some who are already suffering from foot problems find it very painful to perform high-impact exercises such as running or kick-boxing to lose weight. Running a 5K could feel more like torture device than a workout for those with aching toes. For many people suffering from a bunion or arthritis, yoga is a great way to stay in shape and keep your joints healthy without the pain.
The positive effects of yoga for your feet
According to the Yoga Journal, yoga "is a great way to move, stretch and awaken the feet and toes." By doing exercises moving the ball of foot, joints in the toes are relaxed and more flexible. This source also recommends exercises called adduction and abduction. It sounds complicated, but all you are really doing is moving your toe muscles and joints back and forth according to the natural alignment in your feet.
Yoga instructors instruct students in this exercise by drawing a line down the sole of the foot to the heel. Moving the toes back and forth from this line gives your toes more strength and agility. After doing these exercises over an extended period of time, your toes can stretch back into their natural state.
Yoga is great for long and short term bone health
Taking preventative steps with your feet by doing yoga exercises and losing weight can have a great impact on your overall physical health, and can strengthen your bones and tissues so that you won't need any may avoid invasive bunion correction steps to be taken. Ashwin Mehta, M.D. told ABC News that "yoga is a type of exercise that focuses on the nuts and bolts that hold everything else together, like the tendons and ligaments, and it's designed for preventative joint health."
So next time your toes are killing you and you are dreading putting on that two-piece, try your best downward dog and your body will thank you later.