At-Home Exercises to Keep Your Feet Strong and Healthy

You are on your feet for hours each day.

As your feet bear the entire weight of your body when you are standing, walking or doing anything while upright, it is not surprising that you might experience foot pain.

Not just foot pain, if you do not take the health of your feet seriously, you can suffer from other problems like arthritis, gout, bunions and more.

Just like the rest of your body, your feet need training and conditioning to keep them healthy and in good shape. Exercising your feet is one of the best ways to do that.

Exercise will help keep your feet strong and flexible and can also help reduce foot and ankle pain, reduce muscle soreness, improve the overall health of your feet and keep you active.

There are many at-home exercises and relaxation measures that can prevent pain and tired feet as well as make them strong and healthy. You can even do these exercises while watching television in the evening or at night.

Here are some at-home foot exercises that you should perform.

1. Toe Raise, Point and Curl

This is a three-part exercise that everybody should perform to keep their feet healthy. It not only makes the feet more flexible but also strengthens them.

This exercise is also good for easing foot pain.

  1. Sit straight in a chair, with your feet and toes flat on the floor.
  2. Raise your toes up for 5 seconds.
  3. Go, stretch anf point them straight out for another 5 seconds.
  4. Then, keeping your heels off the floor, roll your toes under.
  5. Hold this position also for 5 seconds.
  6. Do this 10 times in a go. You can do this exercise daily.

2. Towel Curls

This exercise helps strengthen the muscles on the top of your feet and toes. It is highly beneficial for people with hammertoes, toe cramps and pain in the ball of the foot.

To do this exercise, you will need a small kitchen towel.

  1. Lay a kitchen towel or hand towel on the floor in front of a chair.
  2. Sit straight in the chair, with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Put the toes of one foot on the end of the towel.
  4. Scrunch your toes to pull the towel toward you.
  5. Then, use your toes to push the towel away from you.
  6. Repeat 6 to 8 times with each foot daily.

To make the exercise more beneficial, place a small weight on the far end of the towel.

3. Seated Stretch

This exercise helps stretch the soles of your tired feet. While stretching the soles of your feet, the calf muscles also get stretched. This in turn relieves pressure on the plantar fascia tendon.

  1. Sit straight in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Pick up one foot and place it on your opposite thigh.
  3. Hold your toes and gently pull them backward until you feel a stretch in the bottom of your foot.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Perform 15 reps on each foot daily.

4. Golf Ball Roll

This is another simple exercise for your feet. It can help reduce pain in the arch and promote toe flexibility. Also, it helps strengthen the muscles of the legs and feet.

  1. Sit straight in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a golf or tennis ball on the floor near your feet.
  3. Put your foot on top of the ball.
  4. Slowly start rolling the ball around the bottom of your foot.
  5. Do it for 2 to 3 minutes on each foot daily.

Instead of a golf ball, you can also use a frozen bottle of water.

5. Marble Pickup

This exercise helps strengthen the muscles on the bottom of your feet and toes. It is highly beneficial for people who have pain in the ball of the foot, hammertoes or toe cramps.

  1. Put 10 to 20 marbles on the floor next to a bowl.
  2. Sit straight in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Pick up one marble at a time with your toes and place it in the bowl.
  4. Use one foot to pick up all marbles.
  5. Repeat the whole process with the other foot.
  6. Do this once daily.

6. Toe Curl and Splay

This is another exercise that helps strengthen foot muscles. It also helps you gain control over your toe muscles.

  1. Sit straight in a chair, with your feet gently resting on the floor.
  2. Keeping your heel on the floor, slightly raise the front of your right foot.
  3. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  4. Spread all your toes apart as far as you can comfortably.
  5. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  6. Then, curl your toes as hard as you can for 2 seconds.
  7. Do the same with your left foot.
  8. Repeat several times with each foot, once daily.

7. Ankle Alphabet

This exercise helps increase the range of motion of your toes.

  1. Sit in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift the heel of one foot off the floor.
  3. Slowly trace the letters of the alphabet in the air.
  4. Do the entire alphabet 2 or 3 times with each foot, once daily.

8. Sand Walking

If you live in a place where you have easy access to a beach, then try sand walking.

Walking on the sand takes more energy as compared to moving at the same pace on hard surfaces. This energy helps strengthen all the muscles between your feet and back, especially your calves, quadriceps and glutes.

Also, as sand conforms to your feet without restricting them, it’s almost like a walking foot massage.

Walk barefoot through the sand for 30 minutes, a few times a week. Apart from the beach, a sand volleyball court is a good option to enjoy sand walking.

Additional Tips

  • Massage your feet daily before going to bed. Use warm oil and always start with your toes, using your thumb to massage them in circular motions.
  • Once in a while, soak your feet in warm water with some Epsom salt. It will relax your tired feet and also provide pain relief.
  • Always wear properly fitted shoes and avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose.
  • If your feet and ankles ache a lot, consult your doctor immediately to rule out any serious problems.

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