I am completely baffled by people who don’t take care of their feet. I’m not talking about the folks who walk around with monster-long toenails or filthy-dirty feet (although that’s nasty). I’m talking about those of you who don’t take proper care of your overall foot health. You don’t wear proper athletic footwear and you let the muscles in your feet stiffen so badly that it hurts to walk. And then you complain that your feet hurt. ‘sup with that?
Think about it! You’ll be stomping around on those poor little tootsies for 80 or 100 years. Please people, show ‘em some love!
You may not think about your feet that often, way down there at the ends of your legs, but they’re an essential part of almost everything you do. Whether walking, running, exercising, or just standing, having feet that are happy and well cared for make life far more pleasant. Therefore, knowing how to care for your feet is key.
I’ve posted about this before but lets refresh with some basic things you can do to keep your feet moving.
#1 – Stretch and massage the tendons and muscles in your feet. Especially the thick tissue that runs along the bottom of your feet. Here’s how.
- Toe Writing — With your feet on the floor and your shoes off, use your toes to “write” the letters of the alphabet, from A to Z, on the floor.
- The Grip — With your feet on the floor and your shoes off, try picking up a pencil or pen with your toes. Or try picking up a marble.
- Toe Stretches — Kneel on you knees and curl your toes under your feet. Heals will be up and your rear end will be resting on your heals.
- Flex & Point — Lift one leg off the ground. Point your toes forward, like a ballerina pointing her extended foot, and hold that position for 15 seconds. Now flex your foot, hold 15 seconds and repeat 10 times each foot.
- Stretch your arches every day — I like to sit on my shins, butt resting on my heels with toes curled under. You can also stand with your toes against a wall (one foot at time) and lean slightly into the wall until you feel a stretch along the bottom of the foot. Do each foot twice. If you don’t like those ideas, just sit on the floor and pull your toes back with your hand. The idea is to stretch the bottom of the foot.
- Stretch your toes — Squeeze your toes together (they might crack) and hold for a few seconds, then flex them up. Do this a few times every day.
- Don’t forget — Ankle Circles and Toe Points to keep the supporting joints flexible.
General Foot Love
- Stimulate the bottom of your feet — The soles of the feet are extremely sensitive due to a high concentration of nerve endings. Post workout give ‘em a nice soapy scrub with the loofah to wake up all those neurons & synapses. A little lotion massage after is always a good idea too.
- Rule of thumb — As soon as you’re finished working out take off your shoes. Your feet will swell from the workout (or hard day at work) so give em’ room to breath.
- Ice your feet — After a long run or day on your feet soak your feet in an ice bath or rest them on a ice bag for 10-15 minutes, then lay on your back on the floor and put your legs up the wall. Stay here for another 10-15 minutes.
- Don’t file down or shave calluses or corns too much —These are nature’s way to protect you from abnormal pressure. Get appropriate insoles, padding or bigger shoes. A specialist podiatrist or biomechanical evaluation may be required for this.
- Get a foot massage — You can do it yourself but I recommend having someone else do it for you.
- Buy all your shoes late in the day — Your feet are larger at the end of the day.
- Running shoes — Replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.
- Obvious stuff — High heeled, pointed toe shoes, mules, strappy sandals and sandals that have thongs between the toes are best avoided. If you want to wear them, keep it to short periods and show your feet some extra love when you’re done torturing them.
This is just a start but you have to start somewhere and this is easy no brainer stuff.
P.s. If you liked this post you may like this one too.