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“High heels are pleasure with pain” -Christian Louboutin

 Ladies, we spend our work days and nights out in heels. Peep-toe D’Orsays, pumps, stilettos, platform wedges, pointed t-straps, espadrilles, sling backs…sassy, too tall, five-inch heels. Yes, we look amazing, our shoes are fabulous and we love them and the compliments we receive. But, they are torture on our posture, stability and joints. Here are some Pilates tips to use when you are not flaunting your lovely gams.

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Keep a racquetball under your desk
In your feet and ankles alone, there are 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Now think about your feet compressed into uncomfortable heels all day. That’s a lot of stress on your foot, posture and overall alignment.

 Racquetballs aren’t just for the court. They make great compressors for your feet, neck, back, or any part of your body needing massage. When you’re putting in desk time, slip off those heels and roll your feet out on a racquetball. Press down, move in circular motions, write the alphabet with your heels then the balls of your feet, using compression to alleviate knotty muscles and tension.

Point-flex- tap
Your body lacks stability in heels. When your calf muscles and shins aren’t in their typical balance; they become weak. They require strength and flexibility to prevent long-term issues.

Another desk tip: Point and flex your foot 100 times a day to increase circulation and movement in your lower legs, ankles and feet. Then tap your toes, heels on the ground, 100 times, to avoid weakness, which can cause shin splints when running.

Taking care of your legs is important in preventing circulation problems, vein issues, muscle spasms and possible long-term damage.

Roll out and stretch
Do yourself a huge favor. Come to Simply Balanced and buy a foam roller. We have travel versions that are made especially to pack in a suitcase. The next time you’re enjoying down time, especially in front of the television, roll out your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and piriformis. Our bodies require flexibility to stay strong and active, and a great way to encourage movement is the foam roller. Just ask us for a few stretch examples, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier body, all in the comfort of your living room.

Go barefoot
Feet become weak in shoes. Think about it: They are isolated; they can’t strengthen those 100 muscles stuck in shoes all day. Take your shoes off the next time you have a chance, and work those feet!

Stand with your weight equally on the balls and heels of your feet; feel the four points connected to the floor, and stand straight and tall. Point and flex, add in a few dance moves for good measure.

Studies show women’s pumps are the first reason they have for ending a fun evening out early (secondary reasons are a completely different post). Spend some time strengthening your feet and legs from the comfort of your desk, and it won’t be your reason. Happy shoe shopping!

This post was written by our new blogger Julia Shults! Julia is a Pilates teacher trainer, marketing guru, freelance writer and mommy.