If you have a gym membership or a home gym, you know the benefits of working out your arms, legs, and other body parts. But for all of us who do exercise, there is one part we often forget—OUR FEET. Yet, you use them every day!
Your feet are important. They have 26 bones, 30 joints, and “more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.” You can do exercises with your feet to help them feel better. As a result, you will be more active.
“We are only as strong as our weakest links, and having weak muscles in the feet can lead to a variety of problems including pain, discomfort, and decreased mobility,” says Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, CISSN. He is an exercise physiologist and author of The Micro-Workout Plan: Get the Body You Want without the Gym in 15 Minutes or Less a Day. It may seem counterintuitive, but wearing supportive shoes can make your foot muscles weaker over time. If these muscles are not challenged enough, they will become weaker.”
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If you walk or run, it is important to have stronger and more flexible feet. “The feet are often overlooked when we talk about strength work,” Corinne Fitzgerald, head coach of Mile High Run Club in New York, said. For example, when people run, they land on one foot with a lot of their weight. Working on your foot strength will improve your natural elasticity and help you react quickly. Strengthening our muscles on the bottom of our feet can help us not get tired from walking. It can also help make sure our arches don’t cave in or that our ankle doesn’t roll out.
If you want to take better care of your feet, here are all the ways. First, you can do foot exercises. These exercises will make your body feel good later, and you can do more exercise for weight loss too.
Buy an Extra Pair for Excercise
Most people have more than one pair of shoes. But what about exercise shoes? It would help if you bought a pair of minimalist shoes to wear when running and building up your feet. This will help make your feet stronger, and it will also help your balance and proprioception.
Tom Holland keeps running shoes, trail shoes, and Vibrams in his closet. He uses the stability trainers for long runs. He uses trail shoes for hikes and longer runs. And he wears Vibrams when he goes to the beach where you are not wearing any clothes, but there might be some rocks or shells on the ground that would hurt your feet.
Towel Pull Exercise
Sit in a chair with your legs bent 90 degrees and put a small towel under your foot. Then scrunch up your toes and pull the top of the towel to you. Do this for a few minutes.
Marble Pick-Up Exercise
In this foot workout, you need to sit in a chair with your legs bent 90 degrees. Next, put marbles under your feet. Then, pick the marbles off the floor with your toes.
One of the most natural ways to strengthen your feet is to go barefoot running. You can do this on grass or sand, and you can do lower body exercises, short sprints, and even shorter runs.
Utilize Unstable Surfaces
Performing lower body exercises like squats and lunges on unstable surfaces is good for your feet. You will be able to balance better, too. And don’t worry—you can still run a mile!