You know to warm up before your workout and you never forget to fit in a good postrun stretch, but are you neglecting your feet? Keep those hard workers happy with these pre- and postrun stretches to prevent foot injuries.
Foot flex: Plantar fasciitis is a condition caused by repetitive damage to the fascia, the band of tissue on the bottom of your feet. This, as you may have guessed, can make running a painful (or nonexistent) hobby. Prevent the condition by doing this simple exercise: flexing your foot. Since you do this exercise in your office chair or on the couch, this is a great stretch to do any time of the day.
- Sit down on a chair or bench. Bend your left leg, and place your left ankle on your right knee.
- Hold onto your left toes with your left hand, and gently press your left toes to the right, so your foot is in a pointing position. Stay here for a few seconds.
- Then use your hand to pull your left toes to the left, flexing your foot.
- Repeat this stretch 10 times, and then do it with the other foot. Complete this stretch at least three times a day to experience the full benefits.
Toe scrunches: These are another simple way to strengthen foot muscles and prevent injury. Whether you're sitting down or waiting at the bus stop, incorporate toe scrunches into your day to keep your feet happy.
- Start with your left foot. Keep your heel on the ground, scrunch your toes, and lift the sole of your foot off the ground.
- Flex your toes and pull them away from the ground as you press the ball of your foot into the ground. Repeat with the right foot.
- This completes one rep. Do 25 to 50 reps daily.
Ice massage: After a long, hot run, your tired feet could use some help. Rolling a frozen water bottle underneath your feet not only helps soothe soles and alleviate pain and inflammation, but the massaging motion also helps lengthen and smooth your feet's fascia.