By Coach KB

(If you are new to the POINT Gym and Kitchen blog and want to learn what the Movement Minute Challenge is all about, check out the introductory post here.)

As many of you know I have lots of WTF thoughts about the way we are led to believe we should live our lives, eat our food, and engage in movement so I was interested to learn more about Gary Ward’s book, What the Foot? Gary is the founder of Anatomy in Motion and believes that changes in the way the body moves and feels can happen in a matter of minutes, so for all you chronic body sufferers out there, there is hope. Gary has a lot to say about stretching (if you’ve been following the MM you won’t be surprised that he hates it) and how he is not a fan of the popular word “neutral” to describe posture (he prefers the word center, as it describes a position we move through and not to) but I have already written a lot about stretching and posture so I will focus on the feet.

A crazy little factoid for you: in a single step when we walk (we’re talking in a span of just 0.6-0.8 seconds for most of us) every single joint in our bodies moves. Every. Single. Joint.... In one single step! And the way the feet strike the ground influences how the rest of the joints above them move so it makes sense to address them first. There are 206 bones in the adult human body and 52 (25%!!!) of them are in our feet. Each foot alone has 33 joints, which means our feet have a lot of ability to move. Unfortunately, we don’t allow our feet to move the way they are designed to. We cram them into shoes of all kinds, put orthotics in our sneakers to prop them up, and just generally don’t move our feet a lot with all the time we spend sitting these days. We know that if we want strong arms and legs we have to move and use our arms and legs. If we want strong feet, and therefore a strong foundation for everything else on top of them, we have to move and use our feet, which brings me to this week’s Movement Minute. This week I have a two-part challenge:

  1. Spend at least a minute each day walking barefoot (in your house or outside), but it has to be walking, not just being barefoot.)

  2. If you want to get crazy, walk for the minute and then interlace your fingers into your toes for 30 seconds or so (this can be intense!) and then wiggle your foot around with your fingers still interlaced for another 30 seconds. Repeat on the other foot and then try walking again and see how different it feels. (Here is a video if you need a visual.)

*This Movement Minute was inspired by Episode 23 of the Liberated Body podcast.