The importance of the foot for the well-being of the body

This article is edited by Professor Diana Tomasi, Professor of Exercise and Sports Sciences, for over 30 years, at the Liceo G. B. Quadri in Vicenza and Head of the middle distance sector of Atletica Vicentina (an important Italian athleltics team).

We well know how the feet are the foundation on which our body rests. We also know that “good” feet are useful and often necessary to be able to practice many sports with satisfaction, or even simply pleasant physical activity. Since a little physical activity, even mild ones (walking, walking, cycling, etc.) is essential to maintain a good state of health, it follows that the feet, which are our bases, must be kept active and healthy and should try to avoid the problems that sometimes afflict them. The feet in fact transmit balance, stability and support to the body. They make us walk, run, jump and last but not least, thanks to the heel, they facilitate the return of blood to the heart.

As can be easily understood for the feet, as well as for the back and knees, avoiding overweight is one of the first things to keep in mind. Overweight, as well as the use of unsuitable shoes, is in fact one of the causes that can lead to foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis, which is one of the most common disorders.

Plantar fasciitis is a disorder due to inflammation of the arched ligament that crosses the base of the foot, connecting the heel with the base of the toes. It can lead to heel pain, which causes pain more noticeable in the morning as soon as you get out of bed.

In relation to the use of unsuitable shoes (such as those with a flat sole, without heels, or vice versa with too high heels) it is quite simple to solve the problem by adopting shoes suitable for the type of movement we want to do. We will therefore choose running shoes or sports walking shoes depending on the type of training we want to do. In the case of shoes for running and jogging, it is good to look for the same good ability to cushion the support and stabilize the foot, as well as lightness and flexibility; in the case of sport walking we will look for a good comfort of the shoe, even if less light, and a smooth tread that favors the natural roll of the foot. Trekking on the other hand, since the terrain on which it is practiced is more bumpy, requires footwear that gives protection, grip and stability, so they will have the typical characteristics of a light boot.

On the subject of overweight, on the other hand, if you want to lose the extra pounds, you have to change your habits for the better, both in terms of food and your lifestyle. In terms of lifestyle, it becomes important to introduce a daily routine that helps us to consume extra calories. For example, we can avoid using the elevator, walk at least 30/40 minutes at a brisk pace every day and use the weekends to take walks in a natural environment, in which the walk becomes much longer.

To prevent foot problems, it is good to do some exercises that increase their mobility and strength. We can perform the following exercises two or three times a week. Exercises to do barefoot.

  • Toe Stretch: Sitting in a chair with your back straight, lift one foot and place it on the thigh of the opposite leg. Take the toes with the hand on the same side and pull them towards the ankle. Hold the position for about a dozen seconds and in the meantime, with the other hand, massage the arch of the foot. Repeat 10 times for each foot.
  • Get a tennis ball. Sit on a chair, back straight and feet resting on the floor. Place a tennis ball under the arch and roll it back and forth, increasing and decreasing the pressure on the ball itself. Roll the ball for 2/3 minutes for each foot.
  • Get some glass marbles (about ten). Sit on a chair, back straight and feet resting on the floor. Put the marbles on one side and a bowl on the other. Pick up one marble at a time with your toes and place it in the bowl. Repeat the exercise with the other foot. Then repeat the exercise a second time, always using first one foot and then the other.

In addition to these exercises, I suggest you take a look at this video which offers other 3-4 exercises useful for foot health.

In conclusion, we can say that taking care of the foot is certainly important and here you will find some tips to start doing it, but also worrying about your diet – whether you are overweight or not – is equally important.

From this point of view, remember to always take natural, healthy and nutritionally balanced food. Bivo embodies all these characteristics, and thanks to the Italian gastronomic tradition it guarantees, as the only complete food conceived and produced in Italy, a taste experience and palatability that are clearly superior to that of other European products.

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