People always say running is hard on your body and it certainly can be, especially on your feet. Your feet are the shock absorbers between your body and the ground when you run. And we ask a lot of our feet; they must be rigid enough to help you propel forward, yet pliable enough to conform to different surfaces. Very rarely do we reward them for all their hard work.
By Pamela Mazzuca Prebeg BSc. Kinesiology
Your foot is a complex body part; it is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 2 arches (medial lonitundinal and transverse) and 3 regions (rearfoot, midfoot and forefoot), and numerous ligaments, muscles, bursas and fat pads. Your foot is also capable of a variety of different movements; it can invert and evert, dorsiflex and plantar flex and abduct and adduct. With so many moving parts and the constant impact, running can lead to tight muscles and inflammation, which can lead to foot pain (usually diagnosed as plantar fasciitis). Regular release of these tight, intrinsic muscles, via tennis ball roll outs, will keep your feet healthy and pain free, which means you can continue running all season long.
Tennis ball roll outs
HOW TO: Standing, place a tennis ball underneath your right foot. Shift your weight over your right foot and roll the tennis ball back and forth under your foot slowly. When you hit a spot that is tender, hold the ball there for 10-15 seconds before moving onto the next spot. Switch sides. A golf ball also works, although this can be more intense because a golf ball is harder and smaller. Also try a frozen water bottle, especially if you suffer from plantar fasciitis as this will allow you to ice at the same time.