Dear Exercise Friends , Signs of spring are finally here! If you live in a climate that has a full-blown winter, as we do in Spokane, I’m sure you’re more than ready to see the snow melt away and the spring flowers pop up. You’ll be happy to know that we’ve been busy over the winter completing the 1700-1800 series (twenty episodes total) and putting together some new resources. Next month we will be releasing a DVD and exercise guide focused on helping the estimated 20 million Americans managing some form of neuropathy. We are excited about the results. Read on to hear more about it!
You’ll notice a new bright-eyed smiling face featured in segments throughout the latest Sit and Be Fit TV series and the Neuropathy Workout DVD. Her name is Dr. Emily Splichal and her resume is impressive. She is a Podiatrist, Human Movement Specialist, and internationally renowned educator. In addition to her research specialty focused on biomechanical movement and dysfunction, she is founder of the Evidence Based Fitness Academy and creator of the Barefoot Training Specialist program. She keeps busy seeing patients out of her New York office and also presents her ongoing research nationally and internationally. It was through one of her continuing education courses that Gretchen and I became acquainted with her work. We knew right away that we wanted to share it with you.
Many of the patients Dr. Emily treats are managing peripheral neuropathy – a condition that occurs when the nerves are damaged. The most common cause is diabetes followed by chemotherapy, poor nutrition and medications. Symptoms can vary from tingling, throbbing, freezing, numbing, and burning of the hands and feet which can move upwards into the legs and arms.
Dr. Emily specializes in helping neuropathy patients, as well as the general population, activate their feet. This is such an important area of the body for all of us to focus on to improve balance. Dr. Emily is passionate about sharing the techniques she’s developed. We have included six of her mini-segments from the 1700-1800 series in the Neuropathy Workout. I know for me, I continue learning from her segments, even after watching them many times. I think you will too!
Speaking of feet…
The feet are our foundation. They’re the most important source of mobility. They play a critical role in helping us maintain balance which affects our ability to walk or run. The individual foot is much more than a group of 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles and 107 ligaments. The feet are rich in nerve receptors, especially the skin on the bottom of the foot. This is important because these small nerves are sensitive to texture, vibration, pressure, and skin stretch, helping us to control our movements.
Below is a series of daily exercises to warm up the feet. They will benefit anyone, not just those managing neuropathy. These exercises are best done with shoes off to stimulate the many nerves on the bottom of the foot. We’ll begin with one of the exercises Dr. Emily taught us called Short Foot. Before you begin, sit toward the front edge of a chair with bare feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Check your posture and keep it maintained throughout the exercises.
Exercise #1 – Short Foot Picture the bottom of your foot as a tripod. Draw an imaginary line between the big toe, little toe and heel. Press the big toe, little toe, and heel into floor. Notice that you have created an arch in your foot. Release and repeat several times. Do this exercise one foot at a time.
Exercise #2 – Foot Slides Starting with the feet together, slide the feet forward and back, one at a time, as though gliding. Practice 6 times, back and forth, to help improve tactile stimulation.
Exercise #3 – Toe Spreads Rest the heels of both feet on the floor. Lift the toes and spread them as far apart as possible. Return the feet to the floor and repeat 4 times.
Exercise #4 – Toe Presses Lift the heels and press all the toes of both feet into floor. Hold and repeat 4 times.
Exercise #5 – Foot Rocks Rock both feet from one side, back to center, then to the other side and back to center. Repeat 4 times.
Sit and Be Fit Neuropathy DVD and free exercise guide
If you would like to be notified next month when the Neuropathy DVD and free electronic copy of the Neuropathy Exercise Guide and informational brochure are released, please send a request to [email protected] and we will add you to the list!
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. Until we meet again, wishing you the very best in health and happiness, always!