Restore strength and flexibility to tired feet in this nine step exercise routine.
1. Start by standing up straight and balancing your weight. Shift your body weight onto your heels, then curl your toes downward. Straighten them and repeat 10 times. This exercise is good for general strengthening, but also to relieve cramps in toes or in the sole.
2. Put one foot on a towel on the floor. Pull the towel, grasping it with your toes. Repeat five times and change foot. When your foot is used to this exercise, you can increase the effort by putting a book or similarly heavy object on the towel.
3. Sit on a chair or stool and use the sole of your foot to rub the shin of the opposite leg, starting from the knee down to the ankle and vice versa. Repeat 20 times. It helps relieve tension around the shinbone and increases the flexibility of the foot doing the massage.
4. Roll a ball under the ball of your foot for two minutes. This action massages the bottom of the foot and can relieve discomfort from cramps, calf pain or foot arch tension.
5. Lying on the floor, rest a leg on a pillow at the height of your calf. Rotate your foot 10 times clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat with the other foot.
6. Starting from the same position as step 5, imagine that your big toe is a pen and "write" the numbers from 1 to 10. Try this with both feet.
7. From the starting position of exercise 5, hold your foot in a vertical position (toes up, heel down). Flexing the ankle, point your toes towards yourself, then repeat in the opposite direction. Repeat 10 times.
8. Place 10 small objects (not sharp) on the floor and a container (marbles are perfect but coins work well too). Grab each object, grasping it with your toes, then drop it in a container. To make sure you use all your toes, try this exercise with a pencil too.
9. Finish the exercises by standing up, and raising and lowering yourself on the tips of your toes (with your feet together) 10 times.