Stretching and exercise keeps feet strong, healthy, and resistant to injury.When most people think of hitting the gym or getting more exercise, they’re usually thinking about losing weight, improving cardio endurance, or increasing how much they can bench press. Well, that’s all well and good, but are you forgetting something? Your feet need to be strong, too!

Think about it. Your feet have to hold up your entire body all day and absorb the impact of each step you take. That’s no easy task. Whether you’re rehabbing an injury, recovering from foot surgery, or just trying to maintain your activity level, foot exercises help you relieve pain and prevent future soreness and injury. Yet while healthy feet are critically important for getting through the day, they’re one of the least often cared for.

Let’s change that! A number of foot exercises used in recovery and rehab for conditions like plantar fasciitis also double as great everyday stretches you can continue indefinitely to build strong, healthy feet. Try adding these simple ones to your routine:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Wrap a long towel around your forefoot, grab both ends with your hands, and pull your toes toward you. You can also push your toes forward, to the side, or in circles while your hands and the towel provide resistance.
  • When seated at a chair, use your toes to crunch, curl, and pick up a small hand towel. You can also try picking up marbles, pencils, or other small objects with your toes and dropping them into a cup or bowl.
  • With feet flat on the floor, spread your toes out as far as they’ll go, then slowly return them to normal. Try to do at least 3 sets of 10 reps.

If you have any concerns about your foot and ankle health—persistent pain, an existing injury, the effects of diabetes or neuropathy, etc.—check in with Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists before starting any new exercise or fitness program. We want to be sure you’re getting the comprehensive care you need, and that any physical therapy you’re doing is helping, not hurting. To make an appointment with one of our experts, give us a call today at (512) 328-8900. You can also request an appointment online.

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