What Your Feet Are Telling You About Your Heart

 

 

 

At Resync, we have always taken an integrated approach to health, beauty, and athletic performance. We know you have to look at the whole person globally instead of locally to identify the root of their challenges.  


And I believe that nothing valuable is depth-less. Addressing superficial signs like skin discoloration, bruising, or exhaustion is critical to anyone's deeper health. But it's worth going deeper, as there is fascia, the most sensory-rich tissue in the body that connects everything underneath your skin, from your feet all the way up to your head, including your heart. 


In this article, we’re going to look at an often overlooked connection: the link between your heart and your feet. We are going to cover:

  • The steps to feeling your best.
  • How can heart problems lead to foot problems?
  • How can foot problems lead to heart problems?
  • What to do for better heart health and foot health?

 

Listen to what your feet are saying.

Foot Health: Revealing The Steps To Feeling Your Best


Be honest: when was the last time you took a hard look at the health of your feet? 

Not just a passing squeeze as you take your shoes off or a quick glance pre-/post-pedi. I’m talking about a detailed look at what the looks of your feet says about your health. I would not be surprised if you haven’t done any in-depth analysis simply because you may not know what to look for, and equally important, you may not be aware of the importance of your feet on your overall health. 


Daily, we honestly do not look at them, they are usually shoved into tight shoes, walked all over, and they are a long way from your heart, it’s no surprise that your feet are also the furthest from your thoughts.


Yet, I believe that is going to change today. 


Just like you have to take care of your heart, you have to take care of your feet, and there are some surprising two-way links between the two.

In Traditional Eastern Medicine, the soles of your feet are known as the second heart. Let’s change the lowly status of our feet and reclaim our health from the ground up!


Before we go any further, I want to make sure you check out (If you’ve checked yet) my latest ebook, “Recover Every Layer of Your Body,” why?


Because it contains knowledge and science based recipes that will bring more energy to your heart and rest of the body. Specific foods and nutrients affect your heart's health and all your connective tissues underneath the skin, which make up your feet, like fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones ( check out our other resources here if you want more).            

When you go through all the layers of the body, from the most superficial appearance of your skin to the deepest internal structures, you will realize that there are many ways your feet' health and the way you move affects your heart health. 



Better Feet, Better Heart, Better Health

Heart Disease And Foot Problems

First, poor circulation affects your entire health, not just your heart or feet in that matter. 

Usually, when we think of circulation, we typically think of our heart being the main driving force to support the blood flow throughout the body.

However, the same muscles that move your bones - your skeletal muscles also play a crucial role in distributing nutrient-rich blood throughout your entire body. 

And as I already mentioned, the feet being the furthest from your heart, run the most significant risk of poor circulation. 


Early partial conclusion?


Your cardiovascular system consists of the heart, and a closed system of vessels called arteries, veins, and capillaries depends tremendously on the muscles' movement in your feet and lower leg. 

Therefore, training your feet is critical to support your heart health. 


There is another obvious reason why exercise is a critical part of every heart-healthy lifestyle, it burns calories. 

Whether those calories are in the form of extra blood sugar floating around or fats transported via your cholesterol system, exercise burns them up leaving you with a healthier metabolism and better circulation.


Now, there is more.


Once a poor diet, smoking, or stress sets up an inflammatory state, your circulatory system, from your arteries to your veins to your smallest capillaries, starts to backup with excess cholesterol buildup.

It’s not hard to imagine that the tiniest veins the furthest from your heart are the first to see the effects of circulation made poor by stiffened veins and arteries, right?

Atherosclerosis and peripheral artery disease go hand in hand. Any cardiologist or podiatrist will tell you that. 

Besides high cholesterol, high blood sugar (seen with diabetes) can also negatively affect your feet in the form of peripheral neuropathy - the loss of nervous system function in your toes and fingers.

As you can see, the effects of poor heart health are apparent in your feet. 


Some important clues you may want to look out for include:


  • Pain in the legs when walking or at rest
  • Loss of sensation, tingling, prickling, or numbness in the feet and/or fingers
  • Increased sensitivity to touch causing pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow healing

What Can You Do To Improve Your Circulation And Heart Health?


You already know you can improve blood flow by focusing on treating and training your feet at the same time. If you do not know what exactly I am talking about or how to train your core effectively from the ground up, please check out my newest fitness/rehab tool, Core Boot, on https://barbaradepta.com.

It will be available in January 2021. I am very excited as it will help people to move, train, and feel better every day. We all deserve less pain, more joy, and more energy in our life.

But for now, let’s go back to the basic yet another powerful strategy you can apply to your life every day to keep your heart and feet health in check. 


Nutrition

Getting your diet straight is the first way to prevent or reverse heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and pre-diabetes. Ask any dietitian or nutritionist, the number one way to decrease cholesterol and lower blood sugar is to eat a varied, whole-foods diet in moderation. 

Here are some resources we’ve put together for you:

 

Specifically Vitamin C and natural plant antioxidants called polyphenols may help preserve a healthy circulatory system by bolstering your antioxidant capacity. Though well-known for improving symptoms of the common cold, vitamin C can also provide an essential antioxidant in the fight against damaging cholesterol, according to researchers.

If you want to take your heart health to the next level, there are targeted nutritional strategies that you should take advantage of. 

First, is making sure you’re getting a regular source of vasodilators, aka. nutrients that open up your blood vessels

 

Here’s my short list of the best nutritional vasodilators:

  • Mango - especially known for its positive effects on microcirculation and on glucose metabolism in healthy subjects 
  • Natural nitrates to support nitric oxide (N-O) - one source of natural nitrates that is well-known, is beetroot. But there are more powerful red and green leafy veggies than beet. These have even been shown to be effective in people with peripheral artery disease (Bock et al. 2018; Kruse et al. 2018); L-arginine, another N-O source, does not appear to be effective
  • Tyrosine
  • Niacin
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Potassium

Our Resync Recovery Blend includes three primary sources of natural nitrates plus mango fruit, potassium, and polyphenols in the most rigorously standardized and quality-certified form available. 

If you have never tried Resync products, I think now is a good time to do it. And just so you know, some of the best athletes in the world consume our blends. Not only because of their safety but primarily because of their effectiveness. Even Pfizer has purchased our Resync Recovery to test the power of it. Recent studies have proven that Resync stands out in the category of beet based products.

Learn more about it here.

Our brand new ready to drink formula has many of the same benefits with its unique blend of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and natural nitrates into a flavorful carbonation! In January, it is going to be the first carbonated heart-healthy drink on the market. 

 

 

Foot Problems And Heart Disease


Let’s imagine that, lately, every morning, you’ve woken up with tightness and aching in your lower back. A quick google search brings up WebMD telling you about sciatica or sacroIliac dysfunction, but you still don’t know how to fix the problem and decide to visit your doctor. You leave the doctor’s office with some muscle relaxants, and maybe if you are lucky, you got a referral for physical therapy. It didn’t seem to come up with what you do for work, what your posture looks like, and what the last two weeks on your feet all day looked like. Your right foot has been sensitive and sore, you’ve got tight muscles in your calves, hamstrings, or maybe lower back, your feet again are tender and swollen. 

You may be asking, why does one affect the other? 


That tenderness in your foot could likely be the beginning of simple tightness in your shin or calf muscles, and that can lead to plantar fasciitis, for example, and it will affect your entire body with every step. 


This is just one possibility, but it illustrates why inattention to how you move from the ground up can have negative impacts that compound down the line like the interest paid on a credit card you never even wanted.


It’s one thing to see the connection between the feet and the rest of your body by following the anatomical links between fascia lines, but it’s another to know how that discomfort can lead to a significant decline in how much fun you have in life.

All of a sudden your back issueーwhich was a foot issueーbecomes a heart issue. 

Now, look at the way our shoes deform our feet and ruin our posture. Look at the default position you see among people waiting around, shifting the weight from one side to another without realizing how much damage that causes to the entire body. Look at the rates of fall accidents in the U.S. You can tell we don’t tend to lend awareness to where we’re placing our feet. Lack of body perception and kinesthetic awareness of our body in space is related, my friend, to your heart health. 


How can we journey a thousand miles if we don’t even know where we put our first step?


What Can You Do For Your Feet Now?

Your fascia is the connective tissue that supports, surrounds, connects, and communicates with the other connective tissues underneath your skin. Placing your attention here means you’re among the few who truly care about deep health from head to toe.

When your fascia layers are not getting enough blood circulation or lymphatic flow or when they’re being poisoned with too much sugar (which also raised triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol), they don’t work quite right.  Healthy fascia allows your tissues to move freely; unhealthy fascia is stiff with glycation and painful with adhesions.

Myofascial release is the application of pressure to points of restricted movement, and it is finally being recognized in research and in popular media for the tremendous power it holds.  

Core Boot that I mentioned to you before, was designed to nourish your fascia, not just in your feet but the entire body. You can sign up here to be one of the first to know when Core Boot comes out, and how it can help you feel, move and perform better.  

When you apply myofascial release to the foot, you are doing your whole body a serious favor. The field of reflexology is particularly interested in the use of targeted foot massage as a way to improve health elsewhere in your body.  Two studies (one with cardiology patients) have even shown that applying reflexology techniques to the points associated with the heart produced a significant reduction in blood pressure as compared with those who got a massage targeted at an unrelated area of the foot. (Two studies have also shown no effect, so take these positive results with a grain of salt.)

Take a movement-meditation practice, Tai Chi or yoga or mindfulness, as another example. These practices not only have a major focus on your foot’s contact with the ground, but they have been conclusively linked to a number of related benefits for your heart. 

Here are some examples:

Better Feet, Better Heart, Better Health

Let’s face it: we don’t pay attention to our feet when the time is right. It seems like we only look at the superficial features of our feet and ignore what those signs might be telling us about our total health. 

Listen to what your feet are saying, and you might hear your heart crying out.  Address the imbalances that are causing poor heart health, and you'll see the benefits in the way your feet support your whole body. I promise you that. Let’s stay focused these days on what matters, shall we? 


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If there’s something you want to know more about, let us know by contacting us or getting in touch on social media!

Wishing you the best in your health,

The Resync Team


References

Buchwald-Werner, Sybille, et al. “Effects of Mangifera Indica (Careless) on Microcirculation and Glucose Metabolism in Healthy Volunteers.” Planta Medica, vol. 83, no. 10, July 2017, pp. 824–29. www.thieme-connect.com, doi:10.1055/s-0043-103017

Bock, Joshua M., et al. “Inorganic Nitrate Supplementation Enhances Functional Capacity and Lower-Limb Microvascular Reactivity in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease.” Nitric Oxide, vol. 80, Nov. 2018, pp. 45–51. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.niox.2018.08.007.

Clark, Paul G., et al. “Effects of Reiki, Yoga, or Meditation on the Physical and Psychological Symptoms of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: A Randomized Pilot Study.” Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, vol. 17, no. 3, SAGE Publications Inc STM, Oct. 2012, pp. 161–71. SAGE Journals, doi:10.1177/2156587212450175.

Cui, Jie, et al. “Effects of Yoga in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Diabetes Investigation, vol. 8, no. 2, 2017, pp. 201–09. Wiley Online Library, doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jdi.12548.

Dantas, Filipe Fernandes Oliveira, et al. “Acute Effects of T’ai Chi Chuan Exercise on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in Peripheral Artery Disease Patients.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 22, no. 5, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, Apr. 2016, pp. 375–79. liebertpub.com (Atypon), doi:10.1089/acm.2015.0230.

Gerstgrasser, Alexandra, et al. “In Vitro Activation of ENOS by Mangifera Indica (Careless™) and Determination of an Effective Dosage in a Randomized, Double-Blind, Human Pilot Study on Microcirculation.” Planta Medica, vol. 82, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 298–304. PubMed, doi:10.1055/s-0035-1558219

Jones, Jenny, et al. “Reflexology Has an Acute (Immediate) Haemodynamic Effect in Healthy Volunteers: A Double-Blind Randomised Controlled Trial.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 18, no. 4, Nov. 2012, pp. 204–11. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2012.03.006.

Jones et al. “Reflexology Has No Immediate Haemodynamic Effect in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure: A Double Blind Randomised Controlled Trial.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 19, no. 3, Aug. 2013, pp. 133–38. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2013.03.004.

Kruse, Nicholas T., et al. “Eight Weeks of Nitrate Supplementation Improves Blood Flow and Reduces the Exaggerated Pressor Response during Forearm Exercise in Peripheral Artery Disease.” American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, vol. 315, no. 1, American Physiological Society, Mar. 2018, pp. H101–08. journals.physiology.org (Atypon), doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00015.2018.

Levine, Glenn N., et al. “Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.” Journal of the American Heart Association, vol. 6, no. 10, Oct. 2017. DOI.org (Crossref), doi:10.1161/JAHA.117.002218.

Lu, Wan-An, et al. “Foot Reflexology Can Increase Vagal Modulation, Decrease Sympathetic Modulation, and Lower Blood Pressure in Healthy Subjects and Patients With Coronary Artery Disease.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, vol. 17, Nov. 2010, pp. 8–14.

Manchanda, S. C., et al. “Retardation of Coronary Atherosclerosis with Yoga Lifestyle Intervention.” The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, vol. 48, no. 7, July 2000, pp. 687–94.

Rollinson, Kirsty, et al. “The Acute (Immediate) Effects of Reflexology on Arterial Compliance in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomised Study.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 22, Feb. 2016, pp. 16–20. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.11.001.

Vanhatalo, Anni, et al. “Dietary Nitrate Accelerates Postexercise Muscle Metabolic Recovery and O2 Delivery in Hypoxia.” Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 117, no. 12, Dec. 2014, pp. 1460–70. PubMed Central, doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00096.2014.Willis

Boslego, Leslie A., et al. “Impact of Yoga on Balance, Balance Confidence and Occupational Performance for Adults with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: A Pilot Study.” British Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 80, no. 3, SAGE Publications Ltd STM, Mar. 2017, pp. 155–62. SAGE Journals, doi:10.1177/0308022616680364.

Wilson, Andrew M., et al. “L-Arginine Supplementation in Peripheral Arterial Disease: No Benefit and Possible Harm.” Circulation, vol. 116, no. 2, July 2007, pp. 188–95. PubMed, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.683656.

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Written by Barbara Depta and registered dietitian, Detrick Snyder, MPH, RDN. Updated on 12/14/2020.

Disclaimer

This content is for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute the practice of any professional healthcare service, INCLUDING the giving of medical advice. No provider-patient relationship is formed. The use of this information, and the materials linked to this content is at the user's own risk. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should abide by the advice of their healthcare provider, and should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have.

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