As most of us know, many of our lower body aches and pains can be managed by evaluating our feet. When your feet aren’t happy, your entire lower body can be thrown for a loop. While regular stretching and exercise are obviously important for maintaining a healthy back, hips and knees, there are some great foot exercises you can do to support the rest of your lower body. Regular foot exercises will ensure your feet stay fit and happy, and help to maintain proper blood flow in your feet.
I have compiled a list of simple exercises that can be done in the comfort of your home to help support lower body health:
Toe Presses: This is like a warm up for your feet. It gets the blood pumping and helps to relax the muscles, allowing them to progress into the other exercises. It’s a great way to relieve tension in your feet. Stand flat on your feet with your knees slightly bent. Grip the floor with your toes and hold for 3 seconds and then release. Do 3 sets of 10 reps at a time throughout the day.
Ankle Circles: Strong ankles are an important part of a healthy lower body. To perform ankle circles, Lie down flat on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent. Lift one leg and stretch it above your body. Rotate the ankle clockwise for 10 seconds, then counter-clockwise for another 10 seconds. Repeat this with the other leg as well. Do 2 sets of 10 seconds on each leg daily for best results.
Active Flexion: Flex your foot as high as it will go, hold for a few seconds, then point your toes as far as they will go and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 2 sets of twenty reps on each foot every day to keep ankles mobile. If your ankles are sore or swollen, you can do this gentle stretch with your ankles iced and elevated if necessary.
Side To Side: Flex your foot and begin to rotate your ankle side to side. Begin with rotating your foot so the sole first faces outward, then inward. Another option for this exercise is to move your ankles gently in a circular motion.
The Wall Stretch: Stand facing a wall with both feet together. Place your hands at shoulder height and width on the wall in front of you. Take a step forward with your right foot so that it is now only a few inches from the wall. Shift your weight onto your right leg and bend at the knee. Keeping both heels on the ground, lean your upper body slowly toward the wall until you feel a good stretch happening along the calf muscles of your left leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Return to your original position with both feet together. Repeat the stretch, this time putting your left leg forward. Do this exercise three times on each foot.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.