3 ideas to strengthen the health of feet during summer
Summer is the best time for children to run barefoot and enjoy that freedom. On the best ways how to strengthen the health of children’s feet in summer and why it is so much more than just a muscle workout, talks physiotherapist Iveta Kantiņa (KRC Jaunķemeri).
All of us have heard a lot about the health benefits that come from walking around barefoot, however, sometimes we forget why exactly it is so healthy. The foot is the first to touch the ground and signal to the brain on what the person has stepped on and what to do to sustain balance. That is why walking barefoot in a sense also trains the brain, because it has to give signals on how to keep balance and stand or walk on different surfaces. However, the expert highlights, that walking on flat surfaces such as laminate and linoleum won’t achieve the wanted result.
Therefore, here we suggest three simple ways how with playful characteristics the heath of children’s feet can be straightened during summer. Ms. Kantiņa says, that pre-school aged children will receive these tiny workouts a lot better, if they are presented as playing, not as exercising.
Letting feet feel different surfaces
The best workout for feet and development for walking is walking barefoot on different surfaces – the variation of surfaces is what makes sure the feet really workout. That is why during the summer the more different surfaces will be felt by a child’s feet, the better!
In nature that will be walking in grass, sand, little rocks, on countryside roads, on the beach – any surface that will be comfortable to the feet of the little one. At the same time specially made barefoot paths are an incredible way how to feel different surfaces. Ms. Kantiņa emphasizes – if at the end of summer the little feet are a bit dirty from running around barefoot, that is a good sign, because it shows that feet, as well as the little one, have found their summertime enjoyment.
Creating the needed space
In addition to activities outside, there are also solutions insight that can help the needed development. The room, in which the child is going to be in, should be created in a way that invites active playing. That means, laying out different surfaces, little mats, and obstacles and let the child be there barefoot. As the expert says, pre-school aged children usually love climbing on and over different obstacles, so there is use in creating them in this space. For example, on a low cabinet, you can put a massage mat, on which the child will gladly step on and exercise their feet.
A game – picking up objects with their feet
A game that can be beloved by children is picking up different objects with toes – especially interesting it can get if the adults decide to join in. Those can be little figureheads, torn up tissues, pines, or anything else that has to be picked up or moved from one bowl to another. This is also a way in which you can organize tidying up – by picking up the things lying around with your feet.