The Importance of Stretching for Healthy Feet

Feet go through strenuous activities almost daily, and all this moving around can strain them. Stretching helps to mitigate the risk of common injuries and reduce the possibility of developing common foot issues.

To help keep your feet healthy, here are the benefits of stretching, tips to follow, and a few exercises to do!

Benefits of Stretching

Having strong, flexible joints is especially important as you age. Stretching helps maintain a range of motion in joints. Without this flexibility, muscles shorten and tighten.

Give your feet the proper attention it needs with stretching. It’ll keep you flexible and can improve:

  • agility in your muscles, preventing falls.
  • blood flow to your muscles.
  • performance in physical activities.
  • your ability to do daily activities.
  • your posture by keeping muscles loose.

Stretching Tips

Stay safe by following these tips.

  1. Do not bounce, as this could injure your muscles and actually make them tighten.
  2. Focus on stretching major muscles in your feet, calves, thighs, and hips. Be sure to stretch on both sides.
  3. Relax and breathe normally, and hold each stretch for about 30 seconds.
  4. You can expect to feel tension while stretching, but not pain. If it hurts, stop.

Stretching Exercises for Feet

Just like ankle strengthening exercises, these exercises for your feet can be done at home! Here are some you can do on a regular basis.

Marble Pickup

The marble pickup strengthens the muscles on the undersides of the feet and toes.

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place in front of your feet a bowl with 20 marbles inside and an empty bowl.
  3. Using the toes of one foot, pick up marbles one at a time and place them into the empty bowl.
  4. Once done, repeat with the other foot.

Toe Splay

Performing the toe splay exercise will help you gain control over your toe muscles.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet gently resting on the floor.
  2. Spread the toes apart as far as possible without straining.
  3. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  4. Repeat this motion 10 times.
  5. To make this exercise more challenging, you can loop a rubber band around the toes of each foot.

Top of the Foot Stretch

With the top of the foot stretch, you should feel the muscles on the top of your feet gently stretch.

  1. Stand with your feet together.
  2. On one foot, raise your heel and curl your toes. Press the tops of your toes against the floor.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat with the other foot.

Runner’s Stretch

The runner’s stretch works to strengthen your Achilles tendon. You should feel a stretch from your calf to your ankle.

  1. Place your hands on the wall at eye level.
  2. Put the leg you want to stretch behind you, bending that knee slightly and keeping the heel on the ground.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat with your other leg.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

The seated hamstring stretch is a great way to stretch your hamstrings.

  1. Sit in a stable chair that’s not on wheels. Shuffle to the front of the chair so your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Place one leg out in front of you with the heel on the ground, and toes pointed toward the ceiling.
  3. With a straight back, lean forward at the hip. Place your hands on the opposite thigh for support.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat with the other leg.

Visit The Foot & Ankle Center

For a personalized treatment plan and help managing your foot pain, visit The Foot & Ankle Center! Our expert podiatrists specialize in a wide range of foot and ankle ailments. We even offer same-day appointments to help keep your mind at ease and get you back to living a full and healthy life.

To get started, give us a call at 314-487-9300 or request an appointment online today!