Stretch for Success: 3 At-Home Exercises to Prevent Foot Injury
The truth about foot injuries is that many of them can be avoided by stretching adequately on a daily basis. It’s especially important for athletes and exercise fanatics to focus on properly stretching their feet before and after physical activity. Although, in New York City, we do so much walking on a daily basis that we may be able to save ourselves some pain by taking a little time to stretch our feet at home. Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the exercises below and think about how you may be able to fit them into your daily routine.
1. Standing Achilles Tendon Stretch
Don’t let your Achilles tendon be your Achilles’ heel. This tendon is the strongest in your body and undergoes a good deal of stress when you’re running down the court to score or even just walking up the avenue to your office. Achilles tendonitis, which is a painful inflammation of this tendon, can occur when you overexert yourself. Follow these steps to avoid damaging your Achilles tendon.
Place yourself in front of a wall, close enough that you’re able to extend your arms and press your palms flat against it.
Step back with one foot, leaving the other close to the wall. Both of your heels should still be flat to the ground at this point.
Lean forward, flexing your back foot and slightly bending your front knee.
Hold for 30 seconds before switching feet.
2. Seated Arch Stretch
Even if you have the perfect running shoes, it’s not uncommon to experience sore feet after a day of heavy use. Whether you’re just trying to relax or warming up for a run, this stretch will loosen up the muscles on the bottom of your feet and prevent an injury like plantar fasciitis.
Sit on the ground with both legs straight out and both feet angled up at 90 degrees.
Wrap a towel or elastic sports band around your feet and gently pull it towards yourself.
Hold 20 or 30 seconds and repeat up to three times.
3. Seated Toe Curls
Constantly wearing shoes leaves certain muscles in our feet week and unused, which leaves us vulnerable to foot pain. If you’re looking for a way to increase your foot strength while sitting at work or in front of the TV, then this is the exercise for you.
Sit in a chair with your bare feet flat over a towel or other lightweight fabric.
Curl your toes to scrunch the towel in tight before releasing it to its original position.
Do three sets of 10 scrunches before switching feet.
Daily foot care is an important aspect of any healthy lifestyle. If you start to experience regular foot pain, it’s best to see a podiatrist as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Our podiatrists, Jonathan Levy, DPM and Nadia Levy, DPM, can work with your unique arch structure and keep you moving happily. Call our office at 212-980-6487 or make an appointment today using our online appointment request form at our office conveniently located in Midtown East, Manhattan.