Rami's Blog

Like the Yin-Yang, Eastern Martial Arts and Western medicine are two halves of a whole. My mission is to preserve the ancient mind-body tools, and pass them on to you.

 

Stimulate the Nerves in Your Feet

Many people believe that strength training is a two-step process. First, you lift weights and do other exercises, and then you build muscle and get stronger. But the reality is that building strength has another step: training your nervous system.

The body naturally uses the least amount of muscle possible to complete an exercise or movement. This saves our body's energy for any unexpected or emergency situations that may occur. If you suddenly have to run to catch the bus, you better not have spent all your energy walking to the bus stop.

But we don't build muscle by just walking around, or doing laundry, or taking out the trash. The difference between regular movements and exercise is how much of your muscle is activated by your nervous system. It's when you focus your mind on the muscles you are working, and push them to the point of exhaustion, that your body will learn to build those muscles bigger and stronger.

What does this have to do with feet? Well, you can't really make the muscles of your feet any bigger, but you can make them stronger, which will help prevent falls, sprained ankles, and other common injuries. Foot strength isn't about how much weight you can move with your feet, but rather how force your feet can take and still keep you stable.

So the first step to building strength in our feet, as we've just learned, is stimulating the nerves. The best way to begin doing this is simply to walk barefoot on all different kinds of surfaces. Wooden floors, sandy beaches, warm asphalt, thick grass, rocky beaches, shag carpets, you get the idea. Walk slow, walk fast, wiggle your toes, go up on your tip-toes if you can. Try to feel the world out with your feet (after all, they do have some of the highest concentration of nerves in your whole body).

Walk barefoot on a different surface everyday, and you will be ready for any of the foot exercises we throw at you.


Happy Stretching!