Hello, O Wellness Warrior! We see you. You’re working to cultivate mindful habits for your sleep and skincare, getting your nutrition dialed in, and even gearing up for your 2022 fitness goals. Killing it.
There’s one area we’re extra curious about today: How are your feet feeling?
Foot Care = Self Care
Feet are the foundation of every step we take, and for many of us, these hard-working hoofs take a beating.
Whether you’re on your feet all day at your job, chasing kiddos around the living room, or trying to persevere through your Tuesday hot yoga class, feet deserve a solid round of applause for all they help us through each day (we’ll wait).
We’ll jump into a few tips for practicing foot care, but first, we have a couple foot-anatomy heroes we’d like to introduce.
Your Plantar Fascia: A Foot Support System
Fascia—including plantar fascia, the fascia under your feet—is a web of connective tissue that helps hold our bodies, muscles, and organs together. Think of the white stuff when peeling a tangerine: it not only surrounds the whole fruit, it also encases each individual slice.
Healthy fascia easily moves “with” us, but when we sit for too long (or overdo it in a workout), fascia can seize up.
When your plantar fascia gets inflamed and tight, it can result in plantar fasciitis: a chronic foot pain condition that often starts at the heel and can radiate through the sole of your foot.
Your Foot’s Fat Pads: Keeping Your Feet Young
Our feet’s fat padding acts as our body’s natural cushioning system, so our bones don’t have to take the full force of each step. Foot fat padding breaks down as we age, so it’s important we protect it with high quality footwear that can absorb some of the shock.
4 Foot-Health Habits You Can Start at Home
Here are a few habits to help support your plantar fascia and foot fat padding—no gym membership required.
1) Roll Out Your Plantar Fascia On a Lacrosse Ball
We won’t beat around the bush: this will not feel very good. In fact, it may downright feel like pressing on a bruise—at least at first. But that’s exactly where the magic happens.
Grab a lacrosse ball, baseball or tennis ball (even a can of beans in a pinch!). While you’re standing, roll out your feet on the ball, putting enough pressure to really feel it. Hold for 20–30 seconds on any areas that feel extra painful. This can help release your fascia and help treat and prevent plantar fasciitis.
2) Stretch Your Calves and Achilles Tendons
Give your calves and achilles tendons a nice, healthy wall stretch (30 seconds or more) at least a couple times a day, especially in the morning. Our fascia and muscles tighten as we sleep, so starting your morning with a daily stretch can help you face the day with less foot pain.
3) Strengthen Your Hips and Glutes
Maintaining strong hips and glutes can alleviate some of the stress your feet might otherwise absorb and help treat plantar fasciitis. Adding a few hip exercises to your weekly routine can help you maintain optimal foot health.
4) Invest in a Quality Pair of Footwear
Footwear should support the arch and plantar fascia, provide adequate shock absorption, and help protect your heel’s fat pad. KURU Footwear is uniquely designed to do all three with its patented technology that lets the heel dynamically flex and custom-molds to the arch to support the plantar fascia.
We recognize that holistic wellness comes from the inside out AND the outside in. So while you focus on your sleep, nutrition, and exercise, give your feet a little bit of love, too. We’re pretty sure they’ll thank you for it.