Foot Fitness is My New Favorite Class at the Gym!

08/27/2018 - 13:01

By Rae Ann Darling Reed

IMG_3129.jpgWhile enjoying my first cruise this summer, I was especially impressed by the fitness center and spa where I spent the early morning hours each day. They offered several free classes each day, several paid classes, and a nice facility consisting of strength and cardio machines plus free weights. One class on the schedule caught my eye:

Foot Fitness.

The first morning I arrived early to find out exactly what Foot Fitness was all about. The other classes were self-explanatory with names like “morning stretch.” The instructor handed out folding chairs which confused me a bit. Then we were handed two small domes with bumps all over them. They are called Canyon Ranch Healthy Feet® and the exercise program is Fitness For Your Feet™. Of course, they sold them on the cruise and yes, I brought home a set of these magical domes!

I love the first page of the instruction manual: “Strong, flexible feet are a barometer of overall physical fitness. They allow you to walk, run, dance, work, and play. And when you treat them right, life is better. Congratulations on choosing revolutionary … exercise domes. Use them regularly and you’ll gain greater foot strength, flexibility, and range of motion. All of that contributes to improved circulation, balance, and gait – plus a fabulous energy boost. You’re on your way to head-to-toe wellness.”

They offered the Foot Fitness class on four of the seven mornings of the cruise and after experiencing that class, I was the first one to the fitness center each morning. I could not wait for this class. I did not work up a sweat during this part of my workout, yet it was the most rewarding. Fairly regularly I stretch my calves, massage my feet with a massage ball, and get foot massages but none of those make my feet feel the way the Foot Fitness class did. It was almost painful the first two times but by the third day, my feet felt way less painful and tight.

I work at a running specialty store and have been a lifelong runner, so I know the importance of taking care of your feet. They are our foundation and when they hurt, it seems everything else hurts too. The way our body compensates for pain, tightness, or abnormalities in our feet can result in ankle, knee, hip, back, or neck pain. When working the feet on the domes, you focus on the whole foot – heels, arches, toes, and the sides and balls of your feet. They recommend about 15-20 minutes of continuous work and movements to reap the most benefit. The whole class, instructional booklet, and videos show different variations of simple movements anyone can do, like rocking back on the heel then forward, side to side, slowly walking from heels to toes over the top of the domes, and lifting the heels while standing on the ball of foot. They recommend holding onto a chair or something for balance and if it is too intense, you can even start in a seated position and work up to standing once your feet get used to it.

I have had my share of injuries over the years and have tried all sorts of stretching and massage tools, physical therapy, and personal training. Foot Fitness has been a game changer. My foundation has never felt so healthy!

(Rae Ann Darling Reed runs, coaches, and writes in Florida. She is an RRCA and USATF Level 2 certified running coach and has been in the Brooks Inspire Daily program since 2010. Rae Ann is a Fit Expert at Fleet Feet Sports Sarasota, a Brooks Wear Tester, and coaches cross country and track at Manatee High School as well as adults of all ages and ability levels. Follow the RunnerGirl’s adventures on twitter @runnergirl or

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