Imagine having the tools to get through each day with less pain, increased strength and flexibility, decreased anxiety, and a general sense of well-being. Well, studies show those tools exist in the form of exercise – in particular, mind-body exercises like yoga and tai-chi. Mind-body exercises combine slow and controlled body movements with mental focus to improve your overall health.
Just like all forms of exercise, mind-body exercises will improve blood flow, increase muscle mass, and help keep your feet fit and healthy. They also have some additional advantages:
- they’re easy on the joints
- you can practice them alone or in a (COVID-safe) group
- there are hundreds of instructional videos to stream online and DVDs to purchase, making it easy for you to exercise with good form and progress in your practice at your own pace.
But that’s not all. The slow, controlled movements of mind-body exercise also offer these physical and mental benefits:
- improve mental focus
- reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
- boost your mood
- enhance sleep
- improve core strength and prevent falling
- strengthen your heart and circulation
- increase energy levels
- improve the flexibility and range of motion in arthritic joints
- diminish age-related cognitive decline
- lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
As we say goodbye to 2020 and look forward to new beginnings, consider making yoga, tai-chi, qigong, meditation, and other mind-body exercises a regular part of your routine. Include targeted foot and toe stretching exercises as well, to keep your feet limber and ready to support your entire body.
For specific foot problems that stretching and mindfulness alone can’t help, we’re here for you in Fairfax County. Contact Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center at (703) 996-3000 or schedule an appointment online.