Pilates on heels

Pilates on heels
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Pilates on heels

It is difficult to imagine that the sound of women's heels will disappear from the city streets, large and small! It just can not happen!
Of course, heels, tight skirts, jackets and flats just can not be ignored. And though every woman has not for once heard that wearing high heels is harmful, yet few take it seriously. Just like smokers - they know smoking is harmful, but smoke still.  Ladies are the same – wearing high heels is painful, but they still wear them. Yet in most cases smokers know about their risks in detail. And what about you, ladies? Do you always know what exactly threatens your health when buying a new dress?

I’m forced to admit that uncomfortable clothes is no less injurious to health than smoking. But, in spite of the dangers, women are still going to dress as required by the fashion ... and our complexes ! Or not?
And interesting enough is the fact that if suddenly men switched their wardrobes with us and would wear our amazing fantastic clothes, their joints and internals would last much longer than those of women’s.
The reasons are quite prosaic, for they are physiological!
And this article is about the reasons of women's problems and solutions to them.

You, your mom or grandma, your friend or all he other ladies around are constantly complaining about:

- "Enlarged bones" of the big toe joint and pain there;
- Corns and callosities that you can not get rid of with any of modern tools for pedicure;
- Pain in the knees, hips, and lumbar of varied nature;
- Varicose veins;
- Headaches;
- 'Tired' shoulders (strained neck).

You say that almost all the ladies around you are complaining about it? And this, you say, is an essential part of life?
Not at all! Moreover, it is possible to be fashionable without compromising with health, if you do it wisely.

Let us examine briefly some of the features of the female body.

1. Ligaments of women experiencing increased stress due to two main reasons. First, the female muscles are usually proportionally weaker than those of men as compared to the length of bones. Second, the female body is much more susceptible to hormonal fluctuations, especially during pregnancy and menopause.

2. Skeleton. Woman’s pelvis is larger than man’s, and hence the angle of the knee joint (the Q-angle) is bigger. For most women the average value exceeds 150 degrees, which is the cause of biomechanical disorders in the feet, knees, hips and lower back, and inevitably leads to premature wearing out of the joints.

Men are not to blame for the fact that a woman's body is ill-suited to carry the load imposed by fashion. But knowledge of the characteristics of the body makes it possible to adequately assess the sacrifices we are willing to make in order to feel "beautiful" (improved) in the eyes of the others, who, by the way, are not always men.

Sometimes, these improvements seem to be very doubtful. For example, poorly fitting shoes or clothing may constrain movements, make walking difficult, awkward, and leaves you without the joy of the simple things: going for a stroll in the park becomes a real drama, and stepping over puddles is the eternal choice between the prospect of either spoiling the shoes or tearing a skirt. Even an elegantly dressed woman loses her charm when she hastily waddle on her high heels, and we are always in a hurry.

Joint pain, calluses make you limp, tight clothing absorbs the plastic of movement, heavy uncomfortable bag slips off the shoulder and spoils the posture, make-up deprives of the comfort of staying in a variety of climatic conditions, a complex hairstyle is spoiled by the wind, rain and touch. Underneath all this "tuning"  it is not easy to see the beautiful nature's design. This does not include "attachments" in the form of artificial parts of the body – from “A” the lashes to “Z” the roundness of silicone.

What can I say? Even in such a difficult situation when every second of a struggle for the salvation of the world with the help of woman’s beauty is precious the key feature in the selection of a wardrobe should still let you pick out comfort, though sometimes relative. The "tuning" can be changed, but the body under it is not so easy to reconstruct. It has already been accustomed to live in all of this, adapted to the environment and got a pile of relevant diseases.

Now you can appreciate some of the "improvements" in terms of damage to health.

Risk number one – high heels!
You say it’s sacred? Do not even read the following!

For the bold - move on.
Here are just some of the consequences of improperly fitting shoes:
- "Enlarged bones" of the big toe joint (bursitis)
- Reduced ankle mobility leads to swelling and stiffness of the joints of the body;
- Pain in the side of the knee from the outside;
- Pain in the knee joint;
- Problems with the menisci;
- Inflammation of the ligaments of the lower limbs and sacral area;
- Arthritis, wearing out of the joints.

Risk number two is the opposite extreme - flat shoes (ballet flats). Wearing flats leads to the developing of flat feet, which can provoke all of the above mentioned troubles.

Yet there is consolation. Not all heels are equally harmful.

Podiatrists recommend:
- The height of the heel is allowed to be no more than 6 cm. It is permitted, but not desirable!
- Heels or platform should be not less than 2 cm to give your feet the opportunity to commit the entire step cycle without overload
- Wear shoes made of high-quality materials in order to avoid the development of fungal diseases due to perspiration, or soreness.
- Pay attention to the formation of calluses and changes in the shape of fingers in time! The problem, alas, is not limited to local discomfort. People usually change their gait in order to ease the pain caused by the corn, but do not give up their favorite shoes. As a result, they develop biomechanical dysfunction, which leads to problems with the lower limbs, and even the lower back.
- Walk in high heels no longer than 2-3 hours per day;
- Change shoes several times a day;
- Go often barefoot.

Risk number three - tight skirts. The risks are as following:
- Increase of  the Q-angle;
- Breach of step biomechanics;
- Inherent intermittent pattern of movement (deviation of the thigh movement);
- Severe muscle imbalance;
- Pain in the knee joint;
- Arthritis, wearing out of the joints.

Wearing a tight and short skirt you provoke a habit to sit with crossed legs, that has negative consequences such as the development of scoliosis and varicose veins.

Such a common and annoying problem as varicose veins needs prevention. The main cause of varicose veins, even in the presence of inheritance, is the lack of mobility of the hip joints and limited mobility of the body. In the Pilates system you will find exercises that help to deal with the problem, as for example  "One-Leg Circle."

Biomechanical disorders, especially in stepping cycle is the main cause of all the diseases of the musculoskeletal system, and hence the spine, which in turn leads to disruption of the work of other systems, malfunctions, diseases of organs, wearing out of joints. And that, in turn, leads to diseases such as arthritis, arthrosis, neuroma, inflammation of ligaments and tendons. All this is not only painful, but also greatly reduces a person's mobility, causing a chain of associated diseases.

Disease symptoms of in the majority of cases occur at the age of 40-50, but some of them can be seen very early, at 20-30. Statistics show that these diseases become younger.
Particularly dangerous period for the female body, when diseases or their symptoms are revealed is pregnancy and menopause, and that is due to significant hormonal changes.

All of the above diseases are amenable to correction with th e help of Pilates exercises and treatment without surgery. Of course, it  will take time and perseverance. But we must not forget that we need to take care of our  health from an early age, and  it is not necessary to pay with the quality of your life for the pleasure of a stroll in a new thing.

How to help yourself?

When you're just standing in high heels, for example, talking to somebody, drinking a glass of champagne at the table in the theater buffet, waiting in line for tickets, etc., take the following steps:

1. Put your heels together and toes apart. Tighten your lower abs, the ones which are below the belly button, squeeze the buttocks. Do not lift the chest, the lower ribs are "sucked into a corset." Keep the conversation sipping champagne.

This will help those who are experiencing discomfort and possibly pain in the dimples near the sacrum. In addition, your figure will become even more graceful. Do not forget to rehearse in front of a mirror at home.
Caution: if you suffer from the infringement of the sciatic nerve (sciatica), this situation will only make the situation worse. However, if you have sciatica and you are still in heels, your courage can only be compared with the courage Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya.

2. Notice how you place your body weight on your feet. Try to get rid of the habit of standing on one leg, putting the other to the side, crossing your legs and other asymmetric positions. If you have two legs, then make them both work equally! Otherwise, some other part of the body will have to pay with its health for the laziness of your legs. Your body, by the way!

3. Make your little toes work! Do not forget about them when you are in high heels. Perhaps, you will not be able to stand correctly.  So before you "go out", stay barefoot on your toes, simulating standing on high heels, and notice how your toes work. The load on your toes should be spread evenly. Try to distribute the pressure between the joints of all the toes (the joint is a place where the toe is attached to the foot). Most likely, you will have to press your little toes to the floor even more tightly. Now, put on your shoes and try not to forget about the little toe.

This point is especially important for those who already have "bumps" on the big toe joint. You simply distribute the weight of your body on your own feet in an inappropriate way.

Strengthen your abdominal muscles. This can be done not in the gym only, though to go there regularly is necessary. You can just imagine the abdomen and internal organs, which you put into your pelvis as into a bowl by pulling the belly button in. Let all your organs be comfortably placed on your bones, do not allow them to “hang” on your abs. Perhaps, you’ll have to slightly lower your tail bone (the tailbone is to be pointed to the heels, making the lumbar curve smaller).

During the day remember about those organs you carry along (liver, spleen, and other workers), try to place them comfortably.
Having strong abdominal muscles is not only beautiful, but also critically important for the preservation of the body. They stabilize the waist, which is the most vulnerable part of our body, and keep the spine in a comfortable position, prolonging youth and allowing easy and graceful movement.

But do not overload the abs! Overactive, strained abdominal muscles provoke constipation, and make your posture hunched. This mainly concerns young ladies with an athletic type of figure (broad shoulders, narrow hips) and those who strengthen the ab muscles in the "old-fashioned" way - get on the floor and crunch, lifting the torso.
And your waist will become slender thanks to the exercises involving the deep abdominal muscles, which is the basis of the Pilates method.

Danger number four. Narrow jackets, corsets, shirts, wide tight belts – what’s wrong with them?
Tight clothing changes the breathing pattern, making it superficial. When you remain for some time in tight clothing, your physical state changes, and your emotional state changes as well.

You may feel agitated, uneasy, even depressed. Compressed internal organs will soon start to behave unfriendly and troubles will soon pop from claustrophobia to headaches. The list goes on ...
Here advice is simple. Remove all clothes which restrict breathing and movement.  At least do not wear it all the time. Practice breathing Pilates exercises, stroll peacefully on the pleasant countryside, breathing in deeply the fragrant air.

Take care of yourself a little bit and you will be beautiful not in high heels only, you’ll feel majestic in any clothing, or without any clothing at all.


Autor: Kateryna Smirnova
Translation: Galyna Dobrovolska
Contact Us: +38 095 051 89 41

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