Feet deserve more love. We dance, run, skip and walk on them. Hopefully, you get swept off yours more than a few times, but for the most part, they’re on the ground, working.
Problems with the feet all too common; many injuries are preventable. Don’t wait for the pain to force you off your feet. Treating them well doesn’t call for trips to a fancy spa. Like any other body part, sometimes they simply need an energizing kick.
1. Go for a barefoot walk
Take a barefoot walk on a grassy path or sand for a few minutes. The natural energy of the planet’s surface recharges and stimulates the body’s electrical system, beginning at the feet. Research by doctors and electrophysiologists shows the ground has an unlimited supply of negatively charged electrons which will naturally flow to places low on electrons, like the body. When your feet make direct contact with the ground, these “free” electrons reduce inflammation by neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body.
2. Roll them on a tennis ball
Runners and yogis alike swear by the tennis ball roll. If you walk on hard surfaces or wear restrictive shoes, this will feel like a miracle at the end of the day. It’s simple. Set a tennis ball on the floor and roll the bottom of your foot over it for a few minutes. Start at the toes and gently work down over the outer and inner arches to the heel.
This helps prevent plantar fasciitis and eases pain if you already have it. Releasing tension in the connective tissue will start a pleasant domino effect of release up the legs to the hamstrings. When you’re ready for a deeper massage, roll with slightly more pressure. Feeling some soreness is okay, but switch to a softer ball if it hurts.
Try this routine for five minutes every day and your feet will feel lively and relaxed within a week.
3. Soak them
How feet love a good soak. Shall we count the ways? A basic warm bath alleviates aches after standing all day or wearing uncomfortable shoes. It also relaxes foot muscles, reduces inflammation and hydrates the skin. A foot bath washes away bacteria, which is particularly necessary if you have any blisters or cuts. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to stimulate the mind and increase awareness of your fantastic feet.
4. Grip exercise
Building muscle helps increase the body’s overall energy supply. Practice a toe grip a few times each day to strengthen the feet, making them less vulnerable to injury. Use your toes to pick up a pencil or sock and grip it for about 10 seconds at a time.
5. Shake them
Shaking is an intuitive response; it’s a party for the body but the feet are rarely invited. You shake your hands to wake them up during a long drive, shake your arms after a challenging workout. Shaking releases tension and stress warms you up and leaves the body refreshed. To start, sit down and wiggle your toes, flex your feet, roll your ankles. Then stand up and shake each foot, alternating and taking deep breaths as you go. Close your eyes and shake, shake, shake for a few minutes to stir up some chaotic energy.
6. Foot massage
An offer of a foot massage is magic words for the weary. When your partner offers, never refuse, obviously. But that’s not always an option so learn to massage them yourself. Sit straight with your foot resting on the knee and use the thumb to press the soles and side arches of each foot. Pay extra attention to tender points and tense areas that hurt in a good way.
7. Flex, point, repeat
Movement gets the blood flowing and prevents energy from plummeting. You can do this at work, home or anywhere you won’t trip people. Sit down and prop your feet up on a chair. Flex your toes towards you and hold for 15 seconds, then point them forward for 15 seconds. Repeat for a few minutes and off you go.
Feet are workhorses, but they don’t have to look like it. Moisturize them every day for a week right after you wash and the difference will delight you. The better they look, the better they’ll feel. Coconut oil and shea butter are fast-working, natural moisturizers thirsty skin absorbs in minutes.