As we all know, a great deal of demand is placed on our feet. Our feet flex and change shape with every step, which means we’re working out our feet throughout the day as we walk or exercise. Without proper stretching, the muscles and tendons in the bottom of our foot can become sore and inflamed.
Last Summer, I had the opportunity to work as a caddy at Whistling Straits (a top 10 golf course in the world and home to 3 PGA Championships). After a day on the course, walking up to 16 miles while carrying 2 golf bags, my dogs were barking! However, the real effect was felt the following morning when I tried to get out of bed and start walking around the house. The pain was intense to say the least, and I knew something had to be done.
Here are five stretches I began incorporating on a daily basis to ensure my feet were in tip-top shape:
- Towel Stretch
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
- Take a towel and place it around your toes.
- Gently pull the towel towards you and hold for 15 to 30 seconds before releasing.
- Towel Lifts
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your left knee and put your left foot flat on the floor.
- Place a towel around your right ankle.
- Grasping the ends of the towel, use it to pull your right leg up. It’s important to keep your right leg straight and keep your buttocks firmly on the floor as you do so. Hold the stretch for several seconds.
- Lower your right leg to the floor and repeat the same motions with your left leg.
- Step Stretch
- Stand on a step with your heels extending beyond the edge. (You may want to hold onto something for balance)
- Shift your weight toward your heels, slowly lowering your heels down, and hold for 10 to 15 seconds to gently stretch the muscles and tendons in the back of your lower leg.
- Lift your heels to their starting position and repeat 5 to 10 times.
- Toe Stretch
- Sit cross-legged.
- Interlace the fingers on your right hand with the toes of your left foot.
- Gently spread your toes away from each other.
- Hold for up to one minute, then switch to the other hand and foot.
- Golf Ball Stretch
- Take a golf ball, and roll it back and forth from your toes to your heels.
- This is one of the most popular home remedies for plantar fasciitis and can be done several times throughout the day.
In the end, exercising your feet on a regular basis not only improves overall foot health, but may also reduce your risk for injury.
We hope these simple stretches will go a long way in helping to ease your foot pain. It’s important to always remember that a little stretching goes a long way!