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Stretch it Out!

Exercise is hard on the body. Regardless of what exercise you choose, this is especially true for your feet. After a workout, there are some activities that can help your feet recover more quickly from the strenuous use they just went through.

First, stretching is important for your feet, just like the rest of your body needs the cool down routines you regularly employ. One stretch to try is to stand flat on one foot while stretching the other leg out behind you, with the toes on that foot curled under and touching the floor. This will stretch the top of your foot. Hold the position and then repeat with the opposite foot.

Next, sit in a chair and rest the ankle of one foot across the opposite knee. Lace your fingers through your toes so one finger is between each toe. Try to spread the toes wide, rather than move them up or down. Then, repeat with the opposite foot.

Finally, use a tennis ball to complete a self-massage of your feet. Put the ball on the floor and rest your foot on it, careful to keep your weight on the opposite foot to keep your balance. Roll it along the arch of your foot and pay particular attention to any areas that feel sore. Repeat with the opposite foot. Icing your feet with a water bottle, half full of ice and half full of cold water, can also be beneficial. Roll the water bottle with your foot on top; similar to the massage you did with the tennis ball. Repeat with other foot.

These ideas can go a long way toward easing your discomfort from tense feet or strained muscles in your feet after a workout. Keep in mind that moderation is best, and then try these tips if your feet get overworked while you are trying to get to that target weight or muscle tone.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

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