Fitness for Your Feet
Because our feet are the most used & abused part of the body, it’s important to incorporate foot exercises into our wellness routine.
Our feet provide us with flexibility, help to absorb shock, distribute the weight of the body, and assist in adapting to surface changes when walking, running, & climbing. Lack of proper strength and flexibility can lead to fallen arches, ankle, knee, hip, back, shoulder, & neck problems, and potential pain or injury.
Walking is the best overall foot exercise. Each step puts your foot through its full range of motion, from the time your heel hits the ground until you push off with your toes. In addition to walking, flexibility and resistance exercises can also help keep your feet healthy.
Flexibility exercises. Exercises that improve flexibility help keep your feet limber. The easiest way to build flexibility is through slow and gentle daily stretches, focusing on one group of muscles at a time.
Resistance exercises. Resistance exercises are those in which your muscles work against some type of resistance, such as weights or exercise bands. Resistance exercises strengthen muscles, which, in turn, provide better support and protection for the foot as a whole.
One of the most effective foot exercises is the foot stretch. For this exercise you will need to sit on the floor and stretch out your legs. Loop a towel or resistance band around your feet. Keep your heels on the floor and pull the towel with both your hands and draw the toes and the middle of your foot towards your body. Stay in this position for 5 seconds and then go back to the initial position.
Don’t do foot exercises if they cause you any pain. And if you have arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, or structural foot problems that might affect your ability to exercise, consult a foot care specialist first.
“Footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down.” ~Unknown