Can You Exercise by Walking in Heels?

by Michelle Zehr

About Michelle Zehr

Michelle Zehr started writing professionally in 2009. She has written on health, fitness, fashion, interior design, home decorating,sports and finance for several websites. Zehr possesses a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in professional writing from Chatham University and a graduate certificate in health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.

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Women love their high heels. High heels dress up an outfit, make for shapely calves and boost confidence. Some have even resorted to exercise programs using high heels. The extensive wear of high heels does not come without a price. The American Podiatric Medical Association indicates that 73 percent of women have had a foot problem related to their choice of shoes. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen and discuss your choice of footwear.

The High Heel Workout

Rosalind Neilen is the Florida-based trainer behind a workout program based on the use of high heels — specifically, the That's Fit website reports, walking in them. Neilen's program is a six-week exercise routine designed to help create a firmer butt and calf muscles. The program focuses on different types of high-heel walking for the first 10 minutes of each session. Walking is performed to a variety of different music. The remaining 20 minutes of each session calls for wearing comfortable sneakers.

High Heel Anatomy

While wearing high heels, a woman's foot is placed in an unnatural position. The slant of a high heel places excessive pressure on the ball of your foot and can also lead to tightening of your calves and your Achilles tendons. The unusual stance of your foot can cause foot, ankle and even lower-back pain. High heels also restrict your toes and the natural shape of your foot. Taking your foot and placing it in this unnatural stance is bound to lead to foot pain and damage that can last a lifetime, podiatrist Stuart Mogul tells Good Housekeeping magazine.

Foot Conditions

Podiatrists see women for a variety of different foot ailments caused by wearing high heels. Mogul explains that high heels do not cause bunions — bone-like protrusions at the base of your big toe — but they can aggravate them. Placing your feet in high heels increases the pressure on your bones, which can make the pain of bunions worse. Women are also likely to experience corns and calluses as the result of wearing high heels regularly. Traumatic fractures or sprains can occur as the result of tripping or getting your heel stuck in a crack in the ground. Overuse injuries such as stress fractures and tendinitis can also occur from wearing high heels.

Exercises

If you are planning on exercising in high heels or wear high heels regularly, certain exercises may help keep your feet a little healthier. Exercises can keep your feet, ankles and lower legs strong, which in turn, can reduce the likelihood of pain and injury. Perform calf and Achilles tendon stretches to reduce tendon tightness in your heel and lower leg, Canadian Living magazine suggests. Writing the alphabet using your toes as a pencil can also help to strengthen the muscles and tendons in and around your feet.

Photo Credits:

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.