Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Foot Care Exercises

We tend to take our feet for granted until something goes wrong which is when we realize how important they are. That’s when we rush off to a foot specialist to get the conditions treated. It is important to appreciate that our feet are finely tuned pieces of biological engineering that give us flexibility, absorb shock, distribute body weight and provide balance and adapt to various surfaces when walking or running. As in all things, prevention is better than cure when it comes to looking after the feet. Regular manicures are not enough – they are merely cosmetic in nature. The best way to care for the feet is a regular foot hygiene regimen combined with daily foot exercise. Here are 7 simple ones that you can do in a few minutes a day and which will keep your feet strong and healthy.

7 Exercises

Your feet do not exist or function in isolation. They are connected to your calves via your ankles. This is why some exercise for the feet include working on calves and ankles.
  • Stand facing a wall with your feet planted flat on the floor and your legs straight. Now slowly move your knee back from the 12 o’clock position to 1 o’clock. Keep the movement going until you get a gentle stretching sensation in the upper calf. Hold this for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other foot. Do this 10 times for each foot.
  • Sit on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you. Use you right hand to hold your right toes and pull them back to till you feel the tension in your foot and calf. Count to 10 and release. Repeat this 10 times and then switch to the other foot.
  • While sitting, place a thick strong rubber band around the toes of one foot and try to spread them apart. Hold against the resistance for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times. Then do the same with the other foot. If one rubber band does not provide enough resistance, use 2 or more.
  • Spend 1 minute walking on your heels and then spend the same amount of time walking on your toes.
  • Place a medium sized marble or some other smooth round object of the same size on the floor. Pick it up with the toes of one foot and hold the marble for 20 seconds. Repeat this one more time and then switch to the other foot.
  • Sit in a chair and hold your leg straight out on front of you. Now try to write the alphabet in the air with your big toe. Allow your ankle to flex as much as it can. Now repeat this with the other foot.
  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your toes up and bring them down to tap on the floor, the way you do when you are tapping them to music. Repeat this 50 times and then switch to the other foot.
These are just a few basic foot exercises which will help to strengthen the feet, ankles and calves. There are many more that can be found online. If any exercise causes pain or discomfort stop doing it and try something else.

If you suffer from a specific problem of the feet, it will be best to consult a podiatrist who will be able to diagnose the exact nature and cause of the problem and recommend the medication and exercise that will be most effective in dealing with it. It is easy to take one’s feet for granted. But when foot problems arise, they can have a significant impact on the quality of one’s life.

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