Pat Henry: Putting the 'right' leg forward
As we grow older muscles in the feet lose their elasticity and tighten. This can give rise to serious pain when you put your foot down on the pavement. You can see this problem with the increase of people getting special insoles made. They can be very expensive at a cost of €350 upwards, but if they work for you that's great - but you won't find out until they are made.
The most common pain is the metatarsal, which is behind the big toe and as soon as you step forward you feel pain. Treatment can be anti-inflammatory drugs, physio and in some cases surgery. It is so important to take good care of your feet. Have regular reflexology treatments and also every day simply roll your foot on a golf ball increasing the downward pressure as it gets easier. This is a simple way of massaging your feet after a long day standing. It's also great for any problems with tired feet and all you need is a golf ball. Look after your feet.
Side leg raises
The most common mistake with clients doing side leg raises can be that the hips are not in a straight line with your leg. This results in only a partial effect of the exercise. So how do you know if this is happening? Simple, if you can raise your leg too far nearly over your head. If this is the case then your hip is leaning backward, so to correct this you should rotate your hip forward and keep your leg straight and parallel to your hip.
Flex your foot towards your face and raise your leg. Repeat 20 times. Then in the same position bring your leg forward and raise from the ground upward for 20 reps. Still keeping the hip forward bring the leg backwards as far as you can and another 20 reps and then back to start position. So three sets of 20 reps slowly, no swinging. You will instantly feel your hips and outer thighs are working hard. This effective three phase leg raise will help tone your thighs and help tighten your hips.
Health & Living
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