Standing on a hard floor for a long stretch of time — whether it’s to cook for family or clean a never-ending parade of plates or do your work from a standing desk — can hurt the joints in your feet, knees, and back. Now is the time to make an extra effort to take good care of your feet and minimize the chance of developing heel pain and plantar fasciitis.
Muscular imbalances and dysfunctions in the feet can result in injury.
Incorporate these 6 moves into your routine to take stress off your feet.
Toe Spread and Press
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your toes and spread as far apart as possible. Hold until lightly fatigued. Then, with your toes spread on the ground, press the ball of your big toe down without letting any part of your foot lift. Perform ten reps three times per week. It an arch-strengthening exercise.
Standing Calf Raise
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Raise the heels and finish by lifting onto the big toe. Keep the ball of each foot on the ground throughout the movement. Work up to 4 to 5 sets of 20 reps prior to work routine.
Write the Alphabet
Sit or stand comfortably. Lift the foot a few inches and write the alphabet in the air with your big toe, beginning with uppercase letters. Exaggerate downward strokes. Once you reach the end of the alphabet, write lowercase letters. Repeat with the other foot. Perform periodically through the day. This exercise will combat muscle and tendon tension on the top of the foot.
Stand tall with your weight on the right leg. Point your right toe and tap the floor in front of the left toe. Return to start, then tap directly in front of you. Repeat moving counter-clockwise. End by tapping the pointed foot behind and across the other foot. Repeat on the left side moving clockwise. This exercise strengthens the heel, the ball of the big toe, and the ball of the little toe. It also increases ankle mobility under full body weight.
Stand on left leg. Jump forward and land softly with bent knee. Return to start and repeat the movement in different directions, going counter-clockwise until six o’clock. Perform five times on left leg before switching to the right, this time moving clockwise. Take support of a wall if you are beginner or have stiff joints. Do three sets per side three times a week. This exercise strengthens not only hips, but coordinate foot, ankle, and hip movement.
Bent-Knee Heel Raises
Stand on a stair or box, heels hanging over the edge. Steady yourself by placing hands on wall in front of you. Transfer weight onto your left leg. Lower left heel toward floor, then push up to raise heel above height of box or stair . Keep leg bent throughout. Repeat on right leg. Perform 2 sets of 15 reps per leg, 3 times a week. This exercise strengthens the collagen with the Achilles tendon, training it to withstand the impact of your foot striking the ground.
“The pain is just the body’s way of telling you to stop and pay attention.”
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.