By Rachel Song
Even some of the most health-conscious people neglect their feet. It’s easy to do until you start to feel discomfort, which is highly likely with studies revealing that a majority of Americans have experienced foot pain, approximately 75%!
Aside from wearing shoes that provide proper support and cushioning from healthy footwear brands such as Aetrex, exercising is a great way to maintain your foot fitness!
These 5 quick moves are great for strengthening and stretching vital foot muscles that may help in preventing or relieving common foot pains:
- Toe grip
Drop a pencil on the floor and use your toes to grip and lift it off the floor. Hold the grip for 10 seconds and release. Repeat the exercise five times with each foot.
- Toe presses
Stand with feet hip width apart and grip the floor with your toes for 20 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
- Resisted toe extension
Wrap an elastic band around all five toes. Stretch your pinky and big toes in opposite directions as far as you are able, resisting the pressure of the elastic band. Hold the extension for 5 seconds and release. Repeat the exercise 5 times with each foot.
- Calf stretch
Sit with one leg straight out in front of you and the other bent comfortably inward towards your body. Wrap a towel or exercise band around the ball of the extended foot and pull back on it gently. Stop and hold the position for 10 seconds when you feel a challenging but still comfortable stretch in the arch of the foot and the calf. Repeat the stretch 5 times on each leg.
- Take a walk!
Walking is the best exercise for your feet as it promotes healthy blood circulation and muscle development. Aim to take several short walking breaks throughout the day and go barefoot whenever possible to target the smaller muscles in your feet that are confined in your shoes all day.