Best Foot Care Practices for Folks on the Go
While we haven’t officially closed the door on old man winter just yet, it’s safe to say as the temperatures warm up we only have one thing on our mind: spring. Backyard barbeques, gardening, hiking, fresh air, weekend getaways — these are just a few of the outdoor activities to look forward to as we enter the season of renewal, rebirth, and a fresh start for all.
However, as the seasons change, our bodies tend to change with them, and we want to be as proactive as possible with our health during this time. It’s not uncommon to experience aches, pains, and pressure after a long winter hibernation, especially in our feet. If you’re already planning your first spring adventure, whether it’s a beautiful nature walk, or picnic at your favorite state park, don’t let stubborn foot pain get in the way of your plans!
Get the foot comfort you’ve always dreamed of (in less time than it takes to brew a cup of tea) by incorporating these foot care exercises into your daily life. And remember, always consult with your primary care physician or a foot care specialist before you begin any new exercise program to ensure safe and healthy practices are being followed.
The Foot Roll
The foot roll exercise is extremely beneficial for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. But, make sure you’re doing it correctly.
To calm the inflamed tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, some sources suggest rolling your foot back and forth over a frozen water bottle. While this may provide temporary relief due to its cooling sensation, it’s not your best option.
See, a water bottle crumples under pressure; and for this foot exercise to be effective, you need an object that can cradle the foot. Instead, grab a tennis ball or golf ball, and roll it back and forth, applying light pressure, for up to two minutes.
Then, set the ball aside and, for double duty foot pain relief, rub a topical cream over the entirety of the foot, or wherever the pain persists the most.
Foot Flex and Stretch
Poor circulation in the lower leg, ankle, and foot region can can really put a damper on your spring plans — but not anymore, thanks to this effective exercise. It can be performed in the comfort of your own home, and allows you to stay seated the entire time.
To begin, sit down on your favorite chair or get comfortable on your sofa with your feet placed flat on the ground. Lift the heel off of the ground while still keeping contact on the floor with your toes. Keep the heel elevated for a count of three before returning to the starting position. Then, you’ll want to perform this exercise again, but with your heel stabilized on the ground and toes pointed upwards to the ceiling. Do both exercises ten times a day.
If you find you need a little more stimulation, or your feet are still bothering you, consider purchasing an at-home blood circulation system that uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to reduce swelling, improve circulation, and soothe discomfort.
Cabin fever happens to most of us in the winter time, and now that the weather is breaking, we don’t want to stay cooped up one second longer. Just going for a simple walk on your lunch break is proven to lighten your mood thanks to feel-good endorphins for an overall happier state of mind.
For some people, though, a simple walk can prove to be very painful when the toes are not properly aligned. This condition, known as overlapping or hammertoes, is common in women in particular, and caused by ill-fitting shoes that place extreme pressure on the toes in an unnatural way or when the tendon on the top of the foot pulls back on the toes.
Practicing this easy toe stretch once a day will have you outside soaking up vitamin D and living your best life!
Start by placing your fingers under the sole of your foot and your thumb across the top of your toes.
Lengthen the toes away from the foot as you pull back and down under the ball of the foot.
Then, use the thumb to bend the toes to reveal your toe knuckles for a nice little stretch.
If any of the knuckles are not popping up, lift underneath the foot a little more.
Hold anywhere from three to five seconds each time and repeat.
The Staircase Stretch
When you get out of bed in the morning, are your feet muscles taut and aggravated? Do you feel a tightness that runs from the tips of your toes to the back of your heel? If so, you may need to stretch your plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a flat band ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, while also giving the arch of the foot much needed support. Don’t let your heel pain discourage you from hitting the trails this spring. Try this staircase stretch and be on your way out the door in no time!
Begin with both feet hip distance apart on the same stair. If you do not have stairs in your home, check outside for an elevated curb or front step — this will work as well. Next, you want to lower the affected heel(s) below stair level until you feel a nice stretch. Keep the knee straight and hold this position for up to 20 seconds. Repeat on the other leg twice daily.
No matter where your foot pain is stemming from, performing any one or all of these exercises, supplemented with select Wise & Well foot pain products, will have your feet thanking you. Walk that extra mile, book the beach trip, enjoy the fresh spring air, and attend that gardening festival, because the world is your oyster!