Some steps to take for supple and strong feet
by Julia Newton, physiotherapist
We use our feet everyday. After-all, it is our mode of transport! So why shouldn’t we make foot health one of our main priorities? Keeping feet flexible and strong is not just important for preventing pain and injuries, but it can have a profound effect on the rest of your body. If you are loading well in your feet, this can really help set you up for optimum movement while you get about.
Here are 4 great tips on how to become more aware and caring of your feet.
Self massage and mobilise your feet. This is not just a great feeling after a long day on your feet, but also an important step in keeping range of motion in your feet! Just pick up one foot, grab your toes, extend them up towards your ankle and massage out the arch of your foot.
Walk in bare feet when possible. This is where you are getting the most feedback from your feet to your brain and vice versa. Pay attention to how you’re loading your feet while you’re walking. The added bonus here is that by walking slowly and mindfully, you’re also calming your nervous system and feeling that grounding effect of your feet on the floor! However if you’re a runner or regularly exercise in shoes, it might be worth also feeling how your feet are in shoes as well
Exercises for the intrinsic muscles in your foot. Intrinsic muscles in the foot are small muscles located in the sole of your foot that are responsible for providing arch support and fine motor movements. Toe curls is an example of a traditional exercise that challenges the intrinsic muscles in your feet. Simply place a towel under your foot and scrunch your toes so that the towel is pulled towards you.
Practice good balance. Try standing on one leg with evenness throughout your foot. Notice if you tend to weight bear on one side of the foot more than the other or if you’re scrunching your foot in order to keep your balance. You can even challenge this further by balancing on a cushion or bosu ball, or make it easier by holding onto a wall with one or two fingers. There should be some amount of effort in your foot, but not to the point that you’re feeling tighter as a result
Have a go at doing the above action points and let us know how you go! If you have noticed anything about your feet or if you simply would just like some more information, we would love to hear from you!