Sweeter than Serenity: Healthy Starts at the Toes

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Healthy Starts at the Toes

When on a journey of health, there is more to be considered than just what food you are putting in your mouth or what exercise you are going to do that day. Being healthy encompasses all aspects of our bodies, not just the number on the scale. You could be a size two but not be healthy if you are enduring pain in your legs while running or back spasms when you try to sit down. As I like to say, being healthy starts at the toes, because even the toes have to be healthy for you to be completely healthy.

When I started running long distance about a year and a half ago, I knew that I was going to need good shoes to run in. Most people recognize that in order to keep your feet, knees, back, etc. healthy while running long distances, you have to be fitted for shoes by a professional that can check for over and under pronation of the feet. What most people don't recognize, however, is that what shoes they wear while they do cross-training, such as circuit training (Insanity, P90X, T25, etc.) is just as important. When you are jumping around or moving side to side, this is hard on your feet if you are wearing a shoe made for running, because running shoes are made for a forward movement, not for a side to side movement.

For high impact circuit training, I recommend minimalist shoes. Many companies recommend minimalist shoes for wearing at all times, but I especially recommend it for jumping and lateral movements. The heavy padding in many shoes cause unnatural landings and movements of the foot, which can lead to a variety of foot problems. There are many companies that provide minimalist shoes, including New Balance, Merrell, Brooks, Vibram, and many more. All of them are designed differently, so the goal is to find the one that fits you to where you can spread out your toes inside the shoe comfortably (if you have wide feet like me, then you have to be picky about finding the perfect wide shoes) and that has as close to a zero drop (like going barefoot) as possible. I personally wear the New Balance Minimus. It is very close to zero drop and it has a very wide toe box that fits my wide feet very comfortably (my toes are happy in them).

Questions? Feel free to leave me a comment and I'll be happy to answer them! And don't forget to follow my blog to read more about healthy lifestyles by clicking "Join this Site" on the right!

God Bless!

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