It’s true—most of us need to exercise more, whether that means hitting the gym, heading out to the trail, signing up for a recreational sport, or just taking a nice walk in the rapidly cooling, crisp fall air.

But wait … aren’t we forgetting something? We may not always think first of our feet and ankles when considering ways to boost activity levels, but the truth is they need stretching and exercise just like the rest of your body.

Your feet need to withstand quite a load. They support your full bodyweight (and more) every day. It’s estimated, for example, that at least 6 out of 10 women spend more than 4 hours per day on their feet. All that standing and walking can quickly lead to foot pain if you aren’t taking care of your feet and ankles, especially if you have any existing foot deformities, are highly active, or are overweight.

Foot and ankle exercises are frequently quite simple. You usually don’t need tools or special equipment, aside from the occasional towel or chair. Frequently, you can even do your exercises right from your desk at work, or even in front of the TV.

Despite their relatively simplicity, the benefits of regularly incorporating foot and ankle exercises into your daily or weekly routine are numerous. First and foremost, they can help you relieve pain, cramping, and inflammation. Massages, toe stretches, toe pointing and curling, and many more can be of great help here.

Other benefits of a good foot and ankle exercise program include stronger and more flexible tissues that prevent the formation of conditions like bunions, hammertoes, or arthritis (or stop existing cases from getting worse), better flexibility and balance (especially great for seniors worried about falling), better blood circulation in lower legs and feet, and more.

Investing just a few minutes a day to stretching and exercising your feet and ankles is a great investment you can make for both short-term and long-term foot health. So, ready to get started? You can check out information on stretching for some specific exercise ideas, or give Carolina Podiatry Group a call for an appointment at 888-569-9559 if you have any current concerns about any foot pain you may already be experiencing. Our expert doctors will assess any additional treatment methods you may benefit from, as well as help you craft an exercise program that will provide the greatest benefit for your specific case. Give us a call today!

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