When you made those New Year’s Resolutions to get fit by exercising, did you remember to include your toes and feet? If you didn’t, you should have. After all, the muscle groups in your “little piggies” make up 25 percent of your body’s muscles.
Gait patterns, proper foot mechanics, ankle stabilization, and balance are all affected by the strength of your toes. Exercise helps make and keep them strong and physically fit. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends the following exercises…
Toe raise, toe point, toe curl
Exercise each toe first by pointing, then by flexing, and lastly by curling under. Hold each position for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Especially good for those with hammertoes or toe cramps.
Place small pliable objects such as corks between your toes. Squeeze and hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Especially good for those with hammertoes or toe cramps.
Big toe pulls
Place a thick rubber band around the big toes. Pull them away from each other and hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Especially good for those with bunions or toe cramps.
Place a thick rubber band around all of your toes on each foot. Spread them and hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Especially good for those with bunions, hammertoes, or toe cramps.
Golf ball roll
Roll a golf ball under the ball of your foot first, under the arch next, and under the heel last. Roll in each area for two minutes. Especially good for those with plantar fasciitis, arch strain, or foot cramps.
Place a small towel on the floor in front of you. Using only your toes, grip and pull it toward you. Repeat five times. To increase resistance, place a weight at the end of the towel. Especially good for those with hammertoes, toe cramps, or pain in the ball of the foot.
Place 20 marbles on the floor in front of you. Using only your toes, pick up one marble at a time and put it in a container. Repeat for each of the remaining marbles. Especially good for those with pain in the ball of the foot, hammertoes, or toe cramps.
Walk barefoot in sand. Good for all-round foot conditioning.
Including all of these easy but highly effective exercises in your fitness routine will not only contribute toward keeping your toes in shape but will also improve existing foot conditions.
So keep your toes fit to maintain optimum podiatric health. Dr. Jeffrey Burmeister, DPM, and his experienced staff are ready to support you as you bring fitness to your feet. Schedule an appointment by completing an online appointment request at www.jacksonvillefootandlaser.com/contact.html or by calling (904) 765-8889.