It’s hard to believe that so many people overlook the importance of keeping their feet healthy. After all, they are the base of our body that make it possible for us to stand, exercise, and even walk the dog!
It can be easy to focus on the more aesthetic parts of our body when maintaining our health, but it’s important that you give proper attention to your feet in order to keep them healthy and mobile.
The Benefits of Stretching Your Feet
Though feet play an integral part in every activity that you undertake, they can easily be forgotten in many self-care regimens. Stretching your feet can be a great way to care for them since there are many associated benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, circulation, muscle tone, and even a boost to your overall mood.
Keep Your Feet in Motion
One of the most effective ways to keep your feet in good shape is by exercising - even a simple walk can do the trick! When you go for a walk, you are putting your foot through its full range of motion From the time your heel touches the pavement, to the time you lift off with your toes, you are able to fully stretch and activate all of the muscles of your foot. As an added bonus, walking is great for your entire body - benefitting your cardiovascular health, circulation, and sense of wellbeing.
Stretching helps to keep our muscles flexible, healthy, and strong by making sure that muscles do not shorten and tighten up. Exercising with tense muscles can result in discomfort or even injury which is why many times, we stretch during ‘warm-up’ routines before an exercise.
This is especially important as we become older since tense muscles can limit activity and even reduce mobility. Everything that you do—from bending down to playing with your grandchildren—all depends on the proper function and flexibility of your muscles.
By stretching, you can improve the blood flow to your muscles and improve your posture by keeping your muscles loose. Maintaining your posture and keeping your muscles healthy can help to keep aches and pains away, and keep your muscles agile in order to prevent falls.
Looking for specific ways to keep your feet healthy and stretched? Below we’ll go over a few exercises to help keep your feet in great shape.
- Cross one leg over the other, carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions on each foot.
- Face a wall with your arms held out, and your hands flat against the wall. Step back with your foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel the stretch. Hold it for 30 seconds and perform this 10 times for both feet.
- Sit in a straight-back chair with your feet gently resting on the floor. Spread your toes as far apart as you can and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat this 10 times on both feet. You can add some difficulty to this exercise by looping a rubber band around the toes of each foot.
With all of these exercises, do not overextend or push your limbs too hard, as this could lead to an increased risk of pulling or straining your muscles. However, it is good to make it a habit! Stretching every day can minimize foot pain and prevent other problems from arising in the future.
Be sure to remember the following:
- If it hurts, stop! Pain means that you are pushing your muscles too far.
- Relax and take a deep breath when you stretch, always take your time.
- Hold stretches for roughly 30 seconds without moving or bouncing.
- Make sure to take a moment for yourself every day, whether it be to stretch, exercise, or even meditate. This will help to not only relax your muscles but also your mind!
Foot & Ankle Care at Voyage Healthcare
Voyage Healthcare offers podiatric services provided by Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Our American Board Certified Podiatrists are experienced in foot and ankle medicine with specialty in:
- Preventive Foot Health
- Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Care
- Wound Care
- Sports Medicine
- Foot and Ankle surgery
If you would like to check in with us concerning a foot or ankle issue, or if you would simply like some further advice on how to keep your feet healthy, don’t hesitate to request an appointment with us.