Here at Feet First Clinic, we’re always happy to see our patients and help them out with whatever issue that has arisen. If you need a wart removed by a great chiropodist, we should be at the top of your list; if you need custom orthotics made to help correct your gait and give you the arch support you need, we’re the right choice. In the meantime, however, between appointments, there are plenty of exercises and stretches that you can do to maintain the health and overall strength of your feet.
Many people will hit the gym or go to yoga class three times a week, but often the smaller muscle groups like the wrists, feet and small stabilizer muscles are ignored. A more holistic, enlightened approach to exercise would see fitness enthusiasts spending more time spreading their attention around so that the entire body is strong and toned, not just the parts that you can see in the mirror. And even if you don’t like hitting the gym or going to yoga class, if you have issues with your feet or suffer from common conditions like plantar fasciitis, foot strengthening and stretching can bring you relief and act as a preventative measure against pain and tightness. There are countless benefits of gait analysis and orthotic inserts, but doing maintenance exercises on your own can really help speed your progress along.
For the rest of the post, we’ll be describing several activities that will help you build up strong, healthy feet:
Any foot specialist in Toronto will tell you that this basic plantar stretch is a fantastic way to start the rehabilitation process and relieve your pain. Simply cross your barefoot over your opposite knee while sitting on a chair and stretch the plantar by pulling your toes towards your shin. You may not feel the results immediately, but if you persist, you will almost certainly experience some gradual relief.
Marbles in the Jar
This is a straightforward strengthening exercise in which you scatter ten marbles on the carpet, pick them up with one by one with your feet, and drop them in a jar. You should perform this strengthening exercise one foot at a time to make sure each individual foot gets the benefit. If you get bored easily, you may want to see if you can corral your spouse or child to compete against you for speed.
Borrowing a bit of wisdom from the world of yoga, we recommend practicing your tree pose to strengthen the many muscles in your feet. Tree pose involves balancing on one foot with your other foot pressed into your calf or thigh. Eventually, you can advance to closing your eyes, or, for a serious challenge, you can try standing on a mini trampoline or something less stable. According to yogi philosophy, tree pose can help you feel grounded and strong, in addition to strengthening your feet and ankles; it’s a win-win!
Negative Calf Raises
The calf raises can be done simply by standing on a step in your stairway, pushing up into a calf raise (with both feet), raising one foot off the step and lowering the other foot below the step to put a deep stretch into the calf. The whole exercise strengthens the lower legs, but the stretch helps to prevent Achilles tendinitis.