Put your bare foot forward!
Have you ever wondered what you should wear on your feet for your Pilatess class? In my blog this month I will try to explain why the correct answer is nothing! (If you prefer for reasons of hygiene, or just to keep your feet warm in the studio non slip socks are also acceptable.)
The foot is an amazing structure of 26 bones and 25 articulating joints. The foot has many proprioceptors that provide information about where the foot is on the ground. Pilatess is one of the few exercise programs that considers the foot as a part of the body that needs strength and flexibility.
The foot is the foundation of the body; balance in the feet sets up optimal activity through the legs, pelvis and core muscles. If there is weakness or imbalance in the feet, the body will be weak and imbalanced.
Your feet are like a minnow bucket full of sensory neurons, all of them wriggling around in search of sensation. Only the face and hands compare with the feet for instant-messaging capabilities, your toes are as finely wired as your lips and fingertips.
Just try wearing thick gloves all day preferably with solid rubber palms!!
By going barefoot in your Pilatess class you maximise the benefit of the different exercises that encourage all over body conditioning.
Today, many doctors and researchers are considering the implications of footwear and how it may actually impede the natural biomechanics of the foot. Strained hamstrings, plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and knee problems are just a few of the wide range of injuries that can possibly be attributed to the adoption of running shoes since the 1970’s.
If you need any further encouragement to discard your shoes read “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, it is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: why does my foot hurt?
I look forward to seeing you all in your next pilatess class unshod and raring to go!