Strengthen Your Feet to Face Aging Challenges

aging challenges

I really like this site, SwimDotCom, which I access on Instagram. Loads of useful tips, including this one on freestyle kick. I use this kick to strengthen my core, and to both loosen and strengthen my feet.

I know I’ve been going on and on and on about peripheral arterial disease (PAD) lately, but it is my toughest challenge when it comes to continuing Ironman training. You may wonder, as the swim is a minor component of triathlons, “Why focus on the swim, when you swim fine as it is?”

Simple: With PAD, swimming is the best way to challenge my cardiovascular system, in addition to overall conditioning, especially of my core, in addition to mental conditioning. When you have PAD slowing you down, alone withe the associated pain, anything that helps is great. In this case, my swim kick exercise toughens my feet, a lot, and here is how I do it:

FitOldDog’s Freestyle Swim Kick Exercise: After a couple of laps, kicking my way along gently to wake things up, I continue kicking, while letting my legs sink. Eventually my body is upright, like the guy in the photo above (except he’s a real swimmer!), and I start to sink. I then maintain a kick strong enough to hole my nose and, better still, my mouth above water, so I can breath. I like to be able to breath, it makes life more fun. I then lean toward the other end of the pool, and start doing laps essentially upright. With my current level of training, 20 minutes kicks my ass, and I feel my feet have had a great workout the next day.

NOTE: It is important to maintain an effective freestyle kick, as described by SwimDotCom. It’s not about thrashing your legs about!

Why does this help with PAD? Simple! When we are challenged it pays to be strong physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. If I let my guard down, my enemy, Entropy (I wrote a book about that) takes over, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train. So I train, and this freestyle kick helps me, physically, mentally (yes my feet are thinking), emotionally (upset feet sure let you know they are upset, with a big hissy fit) and spiritually? Not so sure about that last one. All advice welcomed.

See! It’s simple, really. Kick your own ass, before Entropy kicks it for you.

-kev aka FitOldDog

aging challenges
MRI scans through the thighs of three guys. Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone. Note the loss of both muscle and bone mass in the sedentary guy.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.