The Amazing Foot & Ankle Complex

In case you missed our recent webinar on foot & ankle health, here’s a few highlights, plus a short video featuring some exercises and stretches to keep your ankles and feet healthy and happy.

Top Ten Things we learned about our amazing feet.

  1. About a quarter of the bones in your body are located in your feet (26 bones per foot).
  2. Ligaments and tendons are very strong connective tissues. Ligaments connect bones to bones. Tendons connect bones to muscles.
  3. The longitudinal and transverse arches provide strength and support so our feet can support the load of our bodies in addition to whatever we carry with us.
  4. The average person will take between 3 and 4 million steps per year.
  5. Force plate studies show that the foot absorbs at least 3 times body weight per step at slow running speeds.
  6. An elite triple jumper may produce forces of 14 to 16 times body weight during his or her jump!
  7. Sixty percent (60%) of our MUS population who responded to a pre-webinar survey (n=191) reported currently dealing with foot/ankle pain, injury or dysfunction.
  8. Plantar fasciitis was the most common foot/ankle ailment reported by our population.
  9. RICE, or rest/ice/compression/elevation can be a primary therapy for most ailments of the foot and ankle.
  10. For chronic conditions that are not improving, health professionals such as a podiatrist (PDM), orthopedic physician, physical therapist, or licensed massage therapist can help diagnose and treat the condition, so that you can “get back on your feet again”, so to speak.

If your feet are healthy, keeping your ankles mobile and feet strong with some simple stretching and strengthening exercises can be a great form of prevention. You can learn some of these exercises in the following video. Enjoy!

If you want to watch the entire MUS Wellness foot/ankle webinar, just click here.

Be well!


Wellchat Episode VIII: Injury Prevention

Episode 8: Neal shares some tips on how use exercise to reduce the risk of common injuries, and also how to exercise without getting injured.

Topics include:

  • Overuse Injury
  • The 10% Rule
  • Volume, Impact, and Surface
  • Warm ups and Cool downs
  • Self-Myofascial Release
  • Resistance Training
  • Rest & Recovery

For even more info on injury prevention and recovery, click here to watch one of our past webinars.

The Montana Moves & Meals Wellchat is available on Itunes podcasts! Subscribe and take us with you for a walk, run, or drive!


If you have kids, or spend time with kids, you are familiar with “Owies” and “Boo-Boos”. The nice thing about owies is they are usually short lived. Kids are resilient. After a few tears, they routinely shake off epic crashes and collisions that would probably lay us up for days.

As active adults, we get our fair share of pain as well, but unlike our kids, it seems that the older we get, the longer our aches and pains persist. So being proactive with pain prevention and treatment becomes essential as we age, especially if we aspire to keep moving well.

Here are a few simple tips to keep the pain away in the first place. As the old adage goes: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Warm Up and Cool Down. As I get older, my warm up gets longer. A good warm up prepares the body for movement, and can include:

  • Foam Rolling or other Self-Myofascial release
  • Dynamic movements that incorporate full range of motion around major joints
  • Light to moderate carido to increase blood flow to working muscles and raise core body temperature
  • Light stretching

I usually don’t have a set amount of time that I warm up for.  I just warm up until I feel ready for the main part of the workout.  A good warm up will feel like it flows into your workout.  It’s a build up. Your post-exercise cool down works much the same way, but in reverse. It helps slowly bring us back down to our baseline, and often includes more stretching.

Mobility & Strength. These two elements of fitness are weak links for many who focus primarily on cardio. Assess yourself, or make an appointment with a good personal trainer for an assessment. Then look to loosen and lengthen tight areas through stretching, mobility exercises, or yoga; and strengthen weak areas through resistance training. It’s a good bet that you’ll feel better, perform better, and will be less injury prone.

Don’t do too much too soon. This may very well be the #1 source of most adults’ pain and injury when it comes to exercise. We just do too much—especially if we’re coming off a long layoff from exercise. You can’t get in shape in a day. Instead, get fit slowly and methodically.  Doing a little everyday is so much better than doing a lot at once and then having to take several days off because you’re so sore or have injured yourself.

Finally, simply Listen to your body and don’t forget to get enough quality rest!

Many of you asked a question related to pain or injury as part of our recent “Ask an Exercise Question” Challenge. Our first webinar was last week, and Part 2 is coming up in October. During the October webinar, we’ll be answering some of your pain, treatment, and injury related questions! Below you’ll find a registration link, as well as a recording of Part 1 of the Ask an Exercise Question series, in case you missed it!

Have fun getting in shape slowly!


Register for “Everything you wanted to know about Exercise…Part 2!  October 28th at 12:05pm

Last week’s “Everything you wanted to know about Exercise” webinar.

Everything you always wanted to know about Exercise but were afraid to ask. from Montana University Sys. Wellness on Vimeo.