HEALTH

How you walk is as im­por­tant as the shoes you wear.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Contents -

• Avoid wear­ing high heels for too long

“Your feet are made to walk on a rel­a­tively flat sur­face. Wear­ing high heels shifts the weight of the body to the fore­foot (the front of the foot). When you wear three-inch heels, you pitch 70 per cent of your weight on the fore­foot, com­pared to 20 per cent in one-inch heels,” says Ti­mothy Maiden, se­nior po­di­a­trist from The Foot Prac­tice. “This leads to a va­ri­ety of foot prob­lems like bu­nions.”

So don’t spend the whole day in high heels. “You should also keep the heel height to no more than an inch, and make sure that the heel base is broad enough to match your foot size, es­pe­cially the width of your fore­foot,” adds Matt Herd, di­rec­tor and po­di­a­trist from My Foot Dr. “Strappy heels are bet­ter than strap­less ones, as they hold your feet in place to pre­vent slip­ping.”

• Main­tain an up­right pos­ture

This is what hap­pens when you walk in a pair of heels: “Your cen­tre of grav­ity shifts for­ward – your pelvis tilts for­ward and you have to hold your shoul­ders back so that you

won’t fall face first. In the long run, it can cause knee and lower-back pain,” points out Ti­mothy. So try to keep a straight back as much as pos­si­ble. This also ap­plies if you tend to slouch when you walk, stand or sit.

• Lean for­ward when you run

“As your body moves for­ward, land with your foot un­der­neath it, not in front of it. Do­ing the lat­ter cre­ates a brak­ing force and pushes you back­wards. You want to go for­ward when you’re run­ning in­stead of stop­ping your­self from do­ing so,” says Matt. “Do not slouch while run­ning – imag­ine a string is pulling you up from the top of your head and your body is a rigid lever.”

• Land on your feet cor­rectly

Matt says you should land on the balls of your feet and let your heels kiss the ground through­out your run. “If you stay on the balls of your feet the en­tire time you’re run­ning, this will over­load your Achilles heel and in­jure it,” he warns.

• Dis­trib­ute your weight evenly

Flat on the ground – that’s the nat­u­ral po­si­tion of your foot, where the heel, mid­foot and fore­foot bear an equal load of your body weight. But when you wear the wrong type of shoes or lean heav­ily on one side, the load pro­por­tion changes.

Dis­tribut­ing your weight un­evenly over time may cause corns and cal­luses to form, says Matt. It may even lead to back pain, while the ex­tra pres­sure can af­fect your knees, lower back and neck. “If one joint in the body does not bend, the other joints above and be­low it will have to bend more. This in­creases the load­ing on the soft tis­sues sup­port­ing that joint and causes them to fail. In­juries will then oc­cur,” ex­plains Matt.

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