So the sun’s out – feet are hot and you want to walk. The question is can you WalkActive in a flip flop or any sandal that has a thong between your toes?. Well, this may not have been a question you have pondered much before but as the Creator & Founder WalkActive – The Effective Walking System – these are some of the things I mull over on my personal WalkActive sessions or in the middle of the night! A foot that functions optimally improves posture, minimises misalignment and tracking issues which can contribute to joint pain. With the WalkActive – The Effective Walking System, the foot is the first part of the basic technique and WalkActive language – the foot needs to be active and an open ankle. With the WalkActive System, the foot needs to function optimally for posture improvements as well as minimising misalignment and tracking issues which can contribute to joint pain. In WalkActive language – the foot needs to be active and an open ankle.
SO WHATS’S THE PROBLEM?
That little thong between your toes is the major limiting factor here:
With a thong-style sandal the toes grip the thong to help keep the flip flop on the foot, thus reducing the ability for the foot to be active. When walking, when the back foot comes off the ground, the ankles will need to stay more flexed to prevent the flipflop falling off your foot, thus restricting ankle mobility. Good mobility of the ankle enhances correct tracking from the foot, knee and hips, important for enhancing joint health and comfort especially at the knee. So if the toes are having to grip the toe thong of your flipflop – this very action negates the ability to have an active foot and open ankle. However, all is not lost – you don’t have to save farewell to flip flops forever!
While a flip flop is not your go-to shoe when on a WalkActive Training session or workout here are a few adaptations to help you WalkActive in thong based footwear.
TRY THESE TIPS:
- Think Hip Lift as number 1.
The scientifically proven WalkActive technique involves 4 parts of the body – the feet might be the first part but the hips, head & shoulder and arms are the other 3 parts of the basic technique so while you may not be able to have great active feet and specifically open ankles – focus on your hip lifts to improve your stability and also better tracking from the hip to the knee. Watch this video to learn the hip lift.
- Stretch the front of your foot – so often neglected but super important. This can have a hugely positive effect on foot and ankle mobility. Watch this video for simple progressive exercises to stretch the front and bottom of your foot.
- Choose a hard surface – an unstable surface such as san, together with your flip flop which may already have a less stable sole will exacerbate your sitting in your hips and walking with a passive foot and stiff ankle, all of which contribute to poor joint alignment. Opt to wear your flipflops on a harder surface such as the coastal path below rather than on the sand. Save bare feet for the sand so your foot can benefit from the extra proprioceptive stimulation for balance and mobility of the foot. Instability encourages the muscles to switch on as they find a point of balance.
- Spread your toes – when you go to put on and take off your flip flop. Try to spread all the toes so you enhance mobility and awareness of all parts of the foot as your walk. Give this a go when lying in the bath, and see how far you can spread your toes.
One of the beauties of WalkActive is how you can fit it into your life so don’t discard your WalkActive technique just because you may be out of your favourite WalkActive trainers. WalkActive is for life not just for Training! Global WalkActive Greetings and Happy Holidays everyone.