Regular exercise is a wonderful way to tone up your muscles, strengthen your arches and stimulate blood circulation. But don’t panic, these simple foot exercises can be done any time, any place, anywhere!
Stand with your feet parallel at roughly shoulder width apart. Hold on to a steady piece of furniture to make sure you keep your balance and rise slowly up and down on your tip toes.
Sit down with your feet extended in front of you. If you are sitting on a chair then prop your feet up into another chair or up-turned box. Gently straighten and flex each foot several times.
Remain seated and extend each foot – one at a time – slowly rotate your ankle. Imagine you are trying to draw the largest circle possible with your big toe. Then reverse the rotation. Follow the same exercise with your other foot.
Whilst sitting, rest your feet on the floor and simply move your toes up and down.
These exercises should take no more than a few minutes a day, but will combine to tone and strengthen the muscles in your lower legs, feet and toes. They will help increase your mobility, but most of all they will give you an opportunity to sit back, relax, take the strain off your feet and keep them happy.
Walk your way to happy feet
Walking is the ideal activity to keep yourself healthy and happy – it’s easy, free and you can do it any time!
It takes just 10,000 steps per day to improve general health and fitness. And you can increase your daily steps with a range of simple lifestyle changes such as getting off the bus one stop earlier, walking to the shops, school or your friend’s house instead of taking the car – even getting up to change your TV channel rather than reaching for the remote.
The benefits of walking are immense from giving you more energy to promoting better sleep. But did you know that by adding more activity to your daily routine you help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, coronary heart disease and non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes mellitus? Walk and the muscles and ligaments in your feet will work more efficiently; walk and you can reduce depression and anxiety; walk in a park, on a beach or in the country and you can simply have more fun!
To make sure you walk comfortably, you must wear a shoe that doesn’t rub or put extra pressure on joints. Your shoes should have a low, wide heel so the foot is stable on the ground; a fastening such as a lace, buckle or strap to hold the foot securely in the shoe and soft leather uppers to avoid rubbing on joints. The sole of the shoe should cushion the foot as it walks on hard pavements.
*Always consult a doctor if you are considering a new exercise routine.