The muscle groups of your two feet make up 25 percent of the body’s muscles. The stronger your feet, the stronger your foundation is for everything however consider strengthening your feet to be a long-term project. We have put together 7 key exercises for healthier feet.
1. Toe grip
Strengthens foot muscles to improve balance. Place an item on the floor and use your toes to grip and lift it off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat five times with each foot. Another version of this is to put about 7-10 small objects on the floor such as lego or marbles and place a small cup nearby. Using your toes, pick up the pieces one at a time and put them in the cup. Just remember to count that you have collected all the objects.
2. Toe stretch
Sit in chair, right leg crossed over left thigh. Interlace left fingers with right toes. Squeeze fingers and toes together and hold for 10 seconds, then stretch wide for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times with each foot.
3. Toe extension
Wrap an elastic band around all five toes. Expand your toes and hold for five seconds; release. Repeat five times on each foot.
4. Calf stretch
Sit with one leg stretched out in front of you and wrap a towel around the ball of the foot. Pull the towel back gently until you feel a stretch in the arch of the foot and the calf. Hold for 10 seconds; release. Repeat five times on each leg.
5. Calf Raise
Position your feet hip-width apart. Slowly raise your heels until you’re on your tiptoes, then slowly lower back down to the ground. Take three slow counts to raise and lower your heels. Repeat 10 times.
6. Sand walking
Any chance you get, take off your shoes and walk in the sand at the beach. This exercise massages your feet as well as strengthens your toes and provides good general foot conditioning. Watch out for glass!
7. Golf ball roll
Roll a golf ball under the ball of the foot for two minutes. This is a great massage for the bottom of the foot and is recommended for people with plantar fasciitis (heel pain), arch strain or foot cramps. We have even heard of people using a frozen-golf-ball for massaging their feet. The icy, feel and hard ball can get into the tiny muscles of the foot and give you a deep massage.