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Quite often we forget about our feet, but it is because of them that we are able to do what we need to do – walking, running and even jumping in muddy puddles! Did you know the average person will walk over 100,000 miles over their lifetime?  It is as important to maintain strength, mobility and flexibility in our feet, as it is in other parts of our bodies.  Here’s 6 exercises that can help you do this:


1. Toe raise, point and curl – this exercises all of your foot

  1. Sit straight up in a chair with your feet resting flat on the floor, about hip width apart.
  2. Raise your toes up as high as you can keeping the ball of your foot on the floor and hold for 5 seconds
  3. Lower your toes to the floor, raise your heel as high as you can off the floor whilst keeping the ball of your foot on the floor., Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Now curl your toes under your feet, so the tips of your toes are on the floor and you are stretching the top of your foot away from you.  Hold for 5 seconds.

 

2. Toe Fan – this exercise improves control over the muscles in your toes.  You may find it easier to do this one foot at a time to start with.

  1. Sit straight up in a chair with your feet resting flat on the floor, about hip width apart.
  2. Raise your toes up as high as you can keeping the ball of your foot on the floor.
  3. Starting with your little toe, lower each toe one by one down on to the ground, ending with your big toe.
  4. Reverse by raising your big toe up first and then each other toe until you reach your little one.
  5. Repeat 10 times on each foot.

 

3. Big toe stretch – this exercise is great for helping to relieve bunions.

  1. Sit straight up in a chair with your feet resting on the floor.
  2. Bring your left foot up so that it is resting on your right knee with your big toe facing towards you. 
  3. Using your fingers stretch your big toe up, down and to the side holding each stretch for 5 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.
  4. Repeat on the other foot.

If you are unable to put your foot up on to your knee, you can use an exercise band to gently pull your toes into the stretches.

 

4. Tennis ball roll – this can also be done with a golf ball, a cold can or a frozen bottle of water.  This exercise is great for relieving pain and discomfort in your arches caused by plantar fasciitis.

  1. Sit straight up in a chair with your feet resting flat on the floor, about hip width apart.
  2. Place the tennis ball on the floor next to your feet.
  3. Lift one foot and place the ball of your foot on top of the ball.
  4. Move the ball around with the sole of your foot, pressing as hard as is comfortable and so the ball is massaging the sole of your foot.
  5. Continue for 2 minutes.  Repeat on the other foot.

 

5. ABC foot motion – this exercise is great for mobility and circulation.

  1. Sit straight up in a chair with your feet resting flat on the floor, about hip width apart.
  2. Raise one foot off the floor and point your toe.
  3. Write the alphabet in the air being sure to lead with your big toe each time.
  4. Repeat with the other foot.

 

6. Marble pick up – this exercise strengthens muscles on the underside of your foot and your toes.

  1. Sit straight up in a chair with your feet resting flat on the floor, about hip width apart.
  2. Place an empty bowl and about 20 marbles on the floor in front of your feet.
  3. Using the toes in one foot, pick up the marbles one by one and place them in the bowl.
  4. Repeat using the other foot.