by Kathy Smith
When we hear the word “muscle,” we generally think about the biceps, triceps, glutes and shoulders. But there’s an overlooked area of the body that deserves some much-needed attention: Your feet. Think about it: Your feet are the foundation of your body and your life. Whether you’re an elite athlete or an occasional walker, your feet are responsible for carrying you everywhere you go in life. And the numbers are staggering: the foot is comprised of over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, 26 bones and 33 joints. And at some point in our lives, almost 75% of us will experience an issue with our foot health.
I started to think more about the importance of foot health just recently. My daughter Kate is a competitive runner who went to the Olympic trials last year. Needless to say, she’s no stranger to intense physical training, and to the aches and soreness that occasionally result from it. But when she suffered a stress fracture in her foot from overuse, suddenly this part of her body she’d always taken for granted couldn’t perform its basic (and incredibly important) function. She started a new regimen for strengthening the muscles in her foot – a simple 5-minute routine that led to her recovery (and one that she still practices to this day).
These exercises can be completed during two commercial breaks, and they will save you from the months of inactivity and rehabilitation that can arise from a foot injury. Check out my instructional video, for a quick tutorial. Follow along at home or in the gym!
This experience made me reevaluate how crucial foot health really is. I started taking special care of my feet, researching the best shoes for comfort and overall protection. And my research revealed something interesting: It’s not just about our shoes. It’s also important to focus on what’s underneath them: Our socks.
And so began my love affair with the Thorlo brand of socks. Their philosophy is simple: Make the best product. (Their fantastic team often quotes the motto “We make socks, but we sell foot health.”) It’s all about the science of fat pads: The fat pads in our feet protect them from harm, but walking on hard surfaces destroys them over time. This process is accelerated when we wear poorly designed socks and shoes. So Thorlo set out to make a protective athletic sock that simulates nature’s fat pads with its specially-engineered acrylic fabric cushions.
I had the great privilege to visit Thorlo’s headquarters in Statesville, North Carolina, where I saw firsthand their dedication to quality and great craftsmanship. It’s no coincidence that some of the world’s best socks are being made in Statesville: At one time, 70% of American hosiery was produced in this small and lovely rural area. They have a long-standing tradition, with a heavy focus on quality. With the best tools, the best machinery and the best raw materials, they produce an exceptional product – a product that’s now a cornerstone of foot health for my family and me.
With these easy exercises, and amazing socks, insure that a most vital part of your body is always ready to support you and your activity goals!
Thanks for reading,