Don’t Forget Your Feet!

Walking, jogging and running can take a toll on your feet. If you have tired, achy feet make sure your shoes support your feet properly and try some foot strengthening exercises. Foot strengthening and flexibility exercises can help to relieve foot pain when you exercise. Strong, flexible feet can help improve your balance and posture too. See a doctor if you have persistent pain in your feet. 

Improve the flexibility of your feet by lifting objects with your toes. Sit in a comfortable chair and remove your shoes. Place a small napkin or a sock on the floor and try to pick it up with your toes. Release the napkin or sock and pick it up again. Do this exercise daily 10 times with each foot to increase the flexibility and strength in you toes and upper foot.

Photo Credit:  Miss Otilia Luther CC-BY-SA-2.5,2.0,1.0

To strengthen your toes and increase flexibility in your feet practice toe lifts. Sit down and then pace your bare feet flat on the floor. Begin with your big toe on the right foot and lift it up toward the ceiling, but keep all other toes flat on the floor. Lift each toe on the right foot one at a time and then do the same exercise with the left foot. It will be difficult to lift only one toe at a time, but with practice your toes will become more flexible and the exercise will be easier to perform.
Another way to increase foot flexibility is to walk around on your toes and heels. Take off your shoes and walk on your tip-toes for 15 to 20 seconds and then stand for 5 seconds with your feet flat on the floor. Repeat tip-toe walking-resting 5 times. Next, walk around on your heels for 15 to 20 seconds.  Repeat the tip-toe and heel walk 5 times each day.
Stretch tired feet by standing on the edge of the stairs in your feet. Place your toes and the ball of your foot on the stair. Allow your heels to hang over the edge. Steady yourself by holding the hand-rail or leaning against the wall. Let your heels drop down until you feel the tendons in the back of your lower legs begin to stretch. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and the lift your body up using your toes and the balls of your feet.

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