Fun ideas keeping your feet fit and happy 

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Fun ideas keeping your feet fit and happy 

Where would we be without our feet?  Not very far! From the moment we wake up and our feet hit the floor, they probably take some of the most daily abuse of any part of our body.   When we try to squish them into pointed high heels, too tight of shoes or walking outside barefoot risking injury, it’s no wonder many of us have very tired feet by the end of the day. 

When we say we’re going to get ourselves fit and in shape, does that include your feet too?  It should as our feet are usually under-exercised, over-utilized and neglected.  Our body relies on our feet being in good shape for all the walking, running and standing we ask of them to do for us.  Strong, flexible feet and ankles give us a base for stable movement enabling us to perform our daily activities without pain or strain.  When our feet feel fit, our feet feel happy and happy feet will keep us walking throughout life.

There are exercises you can do to help strengthen and stretch your feet leading to improved balance, coordination and stability that are so important to help prevent injury.  Practice the following exercises daily and your feet will be singing a happy tune:

·      Using your toes, pick up various items such as marbles, pencils, or sticks.  After grasping the item, toss it away from you or drop it.

·      Spread your toes apart like a fan, holding for a few seconds.

·      Flex your toes up and then down.

·      Do toe curls by flexing your toes as much as you can and then release them. 

·      Do foot circles, moving them first one way and then the other. 

·      Move your feet from side to side like a windshield wiper.

·      Moving only your foot and ankle (not your leg), or use just your toes, “write” each letter of the alphabet.

·      Use your toes on one foot to scrunch a towel on the floor.  Keeping your heel in place, drag the towel for side to side.

·      Stand near a counter or a doorway and hold on lightly for balance.  Balance on one foot and rise up onto your toes.  Hold for 10 seconds, then lower. 

·      Drop a sock on the floor and use your toes to grip and lift it off the floor.  Hold for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat with the other foot.

·      Use a small ball such as a tennis or golf ball, place it under your sole – from your arch to heel area – and roll it the length of the foot giving the foot a massage.

For more information on a general food and ankle conditioning program, visit OrthoInfo.