Many people make exercise a part of their daily routine; they schedule days to work out their back, legs, arms, core, and other major muscles. One part of the body that often gets neglected, however, is the feet. Your feet are the foundation of everything you do during the day, but it's easy to forget that those muscles need to be worked like all the others. Whether you're trying to get rid of foot pain or you want to increase your athleticism, trying out these exercises will help strengthen your feet and decrease your risk of injuring them.
Walk around on your toes
One easy way to begin strengthening your feet is by taking your shoes off and walking around barefoot. Walking around barefoot helps strengthen and stretch all the parts of your feet, making them less susceptible to injury. You can also try walking around on the balls of your feet or on your toes; it will be difficult at first, but get easier over time. If it's too difficult to walk around like that at first, try holding onto something to retain balance and do your toe raises that way.
Spread your toes
This exercise seems subtle, but helps the flexibility of your feet tremendously over time. Standing barefoot on a floor with all the weight in your heels, spread your toes as far as you can without lifting them off the floor. This works that space in between your toes that not only never gets stretched, but is always squished by shoes.
Pick up a towel with your toes
A great way to strengthen the toes and the muscles in your feet at the same time is by picking up a small hand towel with your toes. You can also use small objects like marbles and pick them up one by one. While doing this exercise, feel the muscles in your feet contract, and hold that position for a few seconds before releasing.
Walk on sand barefoot
If you have access to a beach or are going on vacation, walking on sand is a great way to strengthen your feet. The resistance created by the sand makes your feet and ankles work harder than they normally would. Once your feet have gained a lot of strength, you can begin to jog barefoot on the beach, but it's important not to do too much too soon or you can end up injuring your feet.
Each of these exercises can be done for a few minutes every day and when you're done, treat your feet to a relaxing bath and give them the rest they deserve. If you'd like more information about foot care, contact a podiatrist like Dr. Maurice Levy.