“To run is to allow our body to express its very
essence and joy, through movement”

Pete Garbutt
M.Chiro.Sp.Sc., ICCSP, FASMF

Top 5 Tips for Children's Healthy Feet

Let Them Breathe

Kid’s feet need to experience the outside world. Particularly during their younger years, the brain relies on stimulation from all the senses to grow and develop and learn. With some 200,000 nerve endings in the feet responsible for balance, posture, muscle tone and co-ordination, it is important that nerve endings are stimulated, and not blinded. Let children get around without shoes whenever possible so that their feet can learn and grow and develop those areas of the brain as much as possible.

Let Them Play

Find games for your children that involve them using their feet in different ways. Walking in different ways, picking things up, painting or drawing are all easy ways in which you can help to develop strong feet which will serve them well. Too many problems develop i feet or higher up just because we are lazy and never exercise our feet.

Smart Shoes

Sometimes you have to wear shoes and so do children. Research has shown that thick shoes with heels will make kids overstride, slow down their cadence and change the way that they walk. Make sure you find a ‘smart shoe’ that enables your child’s foot to move as naturally as possible and feel as much as possible. This goes for school and play. The right shoes can make a big difference in how a child’s foot develops and then how they will run as an adult.

Run Tall

The number one feature of any running technique is posture. If kids learn only one thing about running, teach them to stay tall. This will help with a whole host of issues that runners get in their teenage years and older. Imagining a string through the top of your head like a marionette can be a good visualisation technique.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Feet can get bored just like we can. The more different surfaces that you can expose your children’s feet to, the more robust and healthy they will be. Learning to respond to different surfaces is much easier for kids and you will find that surfaces that you might struggle to walk on, they do with ease. The main reason for this is that adults have kept their feet wrapped up for too long and they have become de-conditioned. Don’t let that stunt the learning of your children’s feet.

Feet are such an important part of our bodies and responsible for a lot of problems if not looked after. Make your children’s feet a priority and keep them in good shape. Good shape means strong, healthy and well stimulated, not wrapped in cotton wool like some sort of fragile piece of crystal. For more information about how to look after your feet or your children’s, contact your nearest ENHANCE Running Technician.