Our feet are our foundation. We stand on them, they carry us around from place to place, and if our feet hurt, everything hurts – or so it seems. Each foot is made up of bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility. A foot out of alignment results in discomfort and pain to the foot, ankle, knee, hip and back. What can we do to give our feet some extra love and attention?
EPSOM SALT SOAK
Soaking your feet for 10-15 minutes in a warm water with Epsom Salts will help soothe your tired feet and relax your muscles. Magnesium is the relaxation mineral and Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate.
POINT YOUR TOES
Lift one foot and roll it downward until the toes are pointed toward the ground; hold for 10 seconds then flex your foot; hold for 10 seconds. Repeat using the other foot. This exercise will help stretch out all the small muscles that are on the bottom of your feet, which can help relieve aching and improve blood circulation.
SPREAD YOUR TOES
Spread your toes apart as wide as you can; hold them spread apart for 5 seconds.
SQUEEZE YOUR TOES
Interlace left fingers with right toes (as if holding hands with your foot). Squeeze fingers and toes together and hold for 10 seconds, then stretch wide for 10 seconds. This helps relax, stretch and align your toes. If this is difficult for you to do you can use toe separators such as a product called “Yoga Toes”. A product such as Yoga Toes might be beneficial for you if you have chronic foot pain, bunions, hammertoe or plantar fascitis.
ROLL YOUR ANKLES & “Pump the Gas”
Rotate each ankle by doing circles with your ankles, rolling your ankles clockwise for a few rotations, then rolling them counterclockwise for a few rotations. Pump your ankles/feet up and down as if pumping the gas in your car. “Pumping the Gas” is a good exercise to improve circulation and is something you can do whenever you’ve been sitting for a while such as in a car or a chair. It is also good to do before you stand up to walk when getting out of bed.
MASSAGE YOUR FEET
Using gentle pressure, start with your toes, using your thumb to massage them in circular motions then move to the arch under your foot and gradually work your way down to the heel, applying pressure with your fingers and palm of your hand. Use lotion to allow your hand to move smoothly over your foot. Squeeze the back of your calf and massage up and down while pointing and flexing your foot. End with long, upward strokes from the top of your feet to your knees paying attention to the front of your leg and the back of your calves.
Roll a tennis or golf ball back and forth from your toes to your heels. If you are having pain and inflammation in your feet, you can use a frozen juice can for some cold therapy with your massage.
Sit in a chair and place a small towel on the floor. Lift the towel with your toes. Most likely you can lift it with your big toe—for a challenge try lifting it with your little toes. Progress the exercise by using a marble or a dice instead of a towel.
Place a small towel on the floor and curl it toward you using only your toes.
Did you do those stretches are you read through this post? I hope you did. It felt pretty darn good didn’t it? If we get in the habit of doing those stretches every day, we will have happier feet and if our feet our happier, then we are happier. That’s a Win-Win!
STAY Healthy. Be STRONG. Get AFTER It!