Updated: Jul 18
Your feet and foot muscles put in a lot of hard work throughout the day, whether you’re wearing heels to work or literally pounding the pavement during your morning workout. As we get older, our feet start to show their age, just like the rest of our body.
One of the most common functional deformities is hyperpronation, or flat foot, which is known to cause many conditions like bunions, hammer toe, and plantar fasciitis.
Stretching the feet, but mainly the calves and hamstrings, can be very beneficial in reducing hyperpronation and other issues. With that in mind, do these easy exercises three times every day to promote strong, healthy feet.
Lean against the wall with your front leg bent and your back leg stretched straight behind you.
Try to put the heel of your back leg down on the ground.
Hold it for 30 seconds on each side to get a deeper stretch. This stretch can be done as part of your post-workout routine or even while you’re brushing your teeth.
There are muscles in your feet that move your toes, and that keeps your toes from becoming contracted, which can ultimately develop into hammer toes. As you age, those muscles between your toes get weaker, so stretching them can slow down deterioration.
Think of your foot like a hand and spread out your toes like you would your fingers, opening them and bringing them back together.
Aim for eight to ten stretches two or three times a day.
If you often wake with stiff legs and feet, try this exercise before even getting out of bed.
In a seated position, place the mid-portion of a non-elastic strap on the bottom of your forefoot. You can use a leather belt, yoga strap, or even a towel.
With a slightly bent knee and a straight back, gently pull the ankle up until you feel a pull in the back of your calf.
Hold for about 20 seconds on each side and try not to bounce the leg.
Slowly bend and extend the knee for 20 seconds on each side.
Finally, with your leg extended, bend your torso toward your knee to also get a stretch in your hamstring.
With consistent care of your precious feet, you can undo some of the damage that comes with activity and age, keeping them healthy and pain-free for years to come.