Step To It (Loving You series)

Have you ever found yourself with achy, sore and tired feet at the end of a long day? Regardless of your profession, whether athlete, secretary or stay-at-home mom, your feet withstand a lot of wear. Many times we squeeze into a pair of shoes because they’re cute and fashionable. Unfortunately, that habit leads to suffering and pain due to strained arches, hammertoes, bunions and more. The good news is that these aches and pains can be avoided with proper foot care.

If you want to be able to enjoy your walking ability for as long as your years will allow, regular foot exercises can help you achieve that. However, these exercises will not benefit you if you continue to squeeze into those six inch pointed-toe stilettos every day. So if you’re serious, give the towering shoes up, and give these foot exercises a try.

Foot Roller: you can find a wooden foot roller in a variety of sizes. With your foot, apply downward pressure on the roller as you roll it back and forth the entire length of your foot. You can also choose to concentrate on your arches, and the ball of your foot, to relieve cramping. Do this exercise 10-15 minutes per foot.
*If you don’t have a foot roller on hand and can’t find one at the store, try a rolling pin. (Please use it exclusively for your feet! I like to use the expression “you put your foot in it” when it comes to tasting delicious food, but we don’t really want your foot in it, okay? Thanks! ;-P )

Rubber Band Stretch: While sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you, place a thick (so it doesn’t snap) rubber band around your big toe on each foot and pull your feet away from each other. Repeat 10-15 times.
This can also be done while sitting on a chair with feet flat on the floor.
*If you experience pain, do only as many as are comfortably possible, then increase as your feet and toes get stronger.

Point Flex Stretch: sitting on the floor with legs in front of you, point your toes straight out as far as possible and count to five, then reverse to point your toes towards you (flex) and count to five. Do this stretch 10 times.
*If you experience pain, reduce the amount of time you hold as well as the number of repetitions until you strengthen your muscles and work your way up to 10.

**As with all other recommendations, these are simply tips to maintain your health and beauty. Please consult your physician if you have a condition that requires treatment.

I know, especially for us women, it may seem impossible to give up the stilettos and cute heels, and we know the saying “pain is beauty”. I am one who couldn’t have imagined a day without my four inch platforms, wedges, pumps, heel boots and any type of amazing shoe made for woman. However, becoming a mom certainly changed that in a way I’ll never understand. Pregnancy just seems unsteady when you’re hovering, and wobbling, in four inch heels with a baby bump that’s protruding like a watermelon. Afterwards, diaper bags, baby carriers and strollers make it almost impossible to balance on stilts. Then they become toddlers and you’re chasing them everywhere. Yes, the joys of being a mother are priceless. My little ones are growing beautifully and at elementary school age now, I can confidently attend their school functions with a cute pair of heels. And on weekends for church or special occasions I like to make my outfit complete with a complimentary pair of pumps. I just might keep a pair of flats in my bag or in the car to change into when I feel my feet are screaming.

Not only is my daily home lifestyle different as a mother, but in my career as a cosmetologist and beauty consultant I spend several hours on my feet. So it only makes sense to be comfortable rather than cute and biting my tongue in pain.  It isn’t impossible to be cute with more reasonable, and comfortable, footwear. There are so many stylish loafers, riding boots and many more styles that can be paired with your wardrobe.

So while it isn’t necessary to give all your sexy shoes up, just use them in moderation, with your best judgment. Remember, your body and health are important and you only look as good as you feel. The idea is to think smart and always take time to continue Loving You!

If you haven’t already read my post on how to create your own Steam Facial, be sure to check out my post It’s Getting a Little Steamy as well as my other posts in the Loving You series where I share DIY tips to pamper yourself: Recharge with Aromatherapy, Quench Your (Skin’s) Thirst, and don’t forget to try the facial and body scrubs recommended in Scrub Away. Stay tuned for the rest of the Loving You series as I’ll be closing out with topics such as healthy hair tips, healing foods and simple beauty routines.

Enjoy!

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