The studio has an interesting collection of all ages and genders, with the oldest into their 80’s. All are positive thinking individuals who come ready to learn, progress, and in many cases heal. They bring their challenges with optimism and continue to challenge my years of expertise.
We forget how important our feet are to our well-being. Something as simple as a blister on one’s foot, causing a limp, can trigger discomforts or displacements in one’s spine.
Here are a couple of interesting statistics: (1) Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among Canadian seniors. (2) The pressure on your feet when you are running can be as much as 4 x’s your body weight.
I recently took a Pilates workshop by Michelle Larrson, a highly respected Pilates teacher in the Pilates community. The focus of her workshop was on working with maturing bodies. I was pleasantly surprised that Michelle spent time discussing feet and their importance to balance. So few teachers do focus on feet, even in the ballet world. There are many simple, good exercises that you can do to keep the muscles, tendons and ligaments supple and strong. (Did you know that there are 107 ligaments in your feet.) Good balance starts with our foundation, “our feet”.
In my opinion, we are too quick to spend the day in a running shoe, some of them built like mini ski boots, or put orthotics in our shoes – supports that do half the workload. I am not saying that either of these supports are wrong, they are needed in most cases, but to do foot exercises a few minutes daily will have rewarding results, including improved balance and stamina.
We don’t wear running shoes in Pilates, so the feet are forced to work and stablize our body in any of the standing exercises.
Julie Akin Head Instructor at Synergy Staying Fit Pilates in Surrey, BC