How much movement do you get?

You might think that you get a fair bit of movement. But you know those people who have amazing dexterity in their feet, like being able to do intricate painting holding a tiny paint brush in their toes? They are probably getting more movement than you are because they are using more muscles. Hogwash, you say?

Consider this: we have about 200 bones in our body and a quarter of them are below the ankle; and a quarter of all the muscles in your body are in your feet. To test this, try moving your individual toes. Most of us can raise our big toe independently of the others, but most of us can’t move just the pinky toe on its own – it’s all or nothing. It is because for most of us those muscles and motor nerves are severely underdeveloped.

And that’s just the feet! We have underdeveloped muscles all over our bodies, in fact, most of us use only about 25% of our total body musculature to achieve our modern movement patterns of sitting for working, transportation and entertainment. Where you have underdeveloped muscles you also get overdeveloped muscles and this combo puts more strain on your joints. Tight, overdeveloped muscles throw the joint out of alignment and joints that are not moving in alignment have increased heat and friction, which causes pain.

Toesox (brand name)

Toesox (brand name)

I’ve been happy as a clam going barefoot all summer and I think this is the latest in the year I ever been in sandals. I love it because my feet get so many more opportunities to move. But that colder weather is coming, and where you live, it might already be here. One solution I’ve found to ease the discomfort of cold feet (at least indoors) is ToeSox. I wear them for barefoot classes (Nia, yoga, Restorative Exerciseâ„¢) but because they have a grippy sole, they are great for around the house – no need for slippers and my feet get a workout.

 

Natural Movement Quiz

At home:
3 pt: You choose the floor over sitting on a chair or sofa.
2 pt: You practice getting up and down from the floor.
1 pt: You take a 10 minute walking break once an hour.

At Work
3 pt: You have a standing or adjustable height work station.
2 pt: You take walk-meetings.
1 pt: You take a 10 minute walking break once an hour.
1 pt: You stand for telephone calls.

Your Lifestyle:
3 pt: You walk more than you drive/ride.
3 pt: You wear no-heeled footwear.
2 pt: The bulk of exercise time is walking.
1 pt: You walk or hike on natural surfaces.

 

 

 

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