Whistler Blog

Are your feet ski fit?

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It is close to ski season and as the temperature drops (and then rises and then drops again) we all start to think about getting in shape again to be ready for the snow, whether we attack it on skinny skis or nice wide planks. When getting into shape, most of us hit the gym, maybe the treadmill, and often as not, a few spin classes to make our legs not feel like lead on the first day. For the most part, if we do the work, it pays off and our legs give us the best they’ve got. All good right? Well, our legs are good, but our feet…oh yeah, our feet. Now, if you are anything like me, the last thing we tend to think about are the things on the bottom of our legs that attach to our skis…until they start to hurt.  This year, however, I am going to be ahead of the game.  Last year I got boot heaters. Year before it was superfeet. Before that it was new boots. While each thing helped, this year I am not going to blame the equipment for my aching feet, I am going to get them in shape. Does that mean sticking my feet in ice baths and then squeezing them into high-heeled shoes? No. Though that would probably get my feet into one kind of shape, blue toes and no feeling don’t make for what I would consider a great day. This year I am going to work them out by…clenching my toes. Remember Bruce Willis in the first Die Hard movie? He takes off his shoes and walks around on the rug clenching his toes. Ok. Maybe not the best thing to do if you are about to enter into 90min of gun play with Eastern European gangsters, but if you want to get some tone in your feet, this works great.  Some physiotherapists even suggest that we should run with our toes clenched to give our feet back some of the natural arch that they had before we wore flip flops and hockey skates for large amounts of time in our “youth.”  The regime that I intend to do for the next couple of weeks is the following: clench toes and arches 10x; walk around with clenched toes on for 20-30 steps; walk on the outside of my feet, the inside of my feet, the heels of my feet and the balls of my feet each for about 20-30 steps. Then I am going to try to actively splay my toes out, but this may take some hands on work as I cannot figure out how to make my big toe go that way. Last, but not least, ankle circles in both directions.  So, here is to fit feet…and a fantastic first day on the slopes!