The August Bank Holiday is just around the corner so here’s how the Pilates class timetable at The Wellbeing Studio will be affected by the last Bank Holiday weekend before Christmas (I know, I said the C word in August. Bad me)…
Two classes on Friday 24th August at 0930 and 1030
No classes on Saturday 25th August
No classes on Sunday 26th August
No classes on Monday 27th August
The usual timetable will resume on Tuesday 28th August with two Pilates classes at 1815 and 1915.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused. If the class you normally attend is not running over the August Bank Holiday period, perhaps you’d like to book into another one instead. Please contact me if you’d like to check availability.
Finally, we lost Aretha Franklin last week so to close, here’s how I like to remember her, rocking a mucky pinny and slippers in the cult classic movie, The Blues Brothers. Think! Take it away, Aretha…
Feet have a key role to play in achieving balance in the body. With twenty-six bones, thirty-three joints and more than a hundred muscles, ligaments and tendons in each one, the foot is a marvel of engineering and yet it is often overlooked by anatomists and medical students, indeed by all of us. When our feet go wrong then we pay attention to them. Only when they stop working properly do we appreciate what they do to keep us upright and move us around all day.
According to anthropologists, the development of the arches of the feet allowed us to step into our humanity more than two million years ago. It is the evolution of this part of our anatomy more than any other that enabled man to walk upright, freeing up our hands and our brains to focus on other more complex tasks.
Feet not only provide insight into how we developed as humans, they tell the story of our overall physiological health. When the foot hits the ground, everything is affected. Conversely, an imbalance in the pelvis places strain on the knees and ankles, which can be seen in our feet, even when they are not weight bearing.
When we run approximately half the energy used in each step is stored in the elasticity of our Achilles tendons and released via the arches of the feet. The arches, two along the length of the foot and one across its width, also bear our weight. They are necessary for strength, just like the spans of a bridge. Without the arches, the feet can’t support the weight of our bodies.
The feet need to be flexible in order to reduce the impact of postural imbalances and to improve stability when we move around. As we age the foot becomes less flexible increasing our susceptibility to ankle sprains, knee and hip pain, and to falls due to poor balance. Similarly, repetitive movements such as walking and running, inappropriate footwear and a sedentary lifestyle, can all contribute to a loss of flexibility in the feet.
Tension in the feet can affect the legs and hips. This is because the muscles of the calves run all the way down into the feet. These in turn connect via fascia to the muscles of the upper leg and hip.
To address this tension and inflexibility, Melissa now incorporates foot exercises into the Pilates classes she runs at The Wellbeing Studio and the Complete Health Clinic in Clevedon. The exercises, using special textured balls are easy to do and feel good. Doing them at the start of the Pilates class helps maintain proper foot alignment for the rest of the session, which improves the recruitment of the muscles in the hips, pelvic floor, and abdominal area.