As I get older, I have noticed more aches and pains in the morning and how I need a longer recovery time after a hard workout. As a Pedorthist, I pay close attention to my feet and toes and ways that I can minimize those aches to keep me on the squash court. I also see a large number of patients with hammer toes, claw toes, or toes that are no longer in an optimum position.
Your toes are an essential component of your feet. They provide balance when you walk, run, and stand, and support your weight when you're on your feet. Therefore, it's important that you take care of them. One of the ways you can do so if by stretching them, the same way you would your legs or arms before a workout.
Below are some of my new favourite stretches for your toes.
On the left is a toe stretcher device that I found at a drug store, however, if you happen to have those foam, pedicure toe separators at home, they work great too!
The best part about this stretch is that you don't need to actively pay attention while you do them. Slip the toe separator on and wear it for 5 minutes while sitting on the couch watching TV or reading a book. I wouldn’t wear them longer than 10 minutes, as a few minutes is enough to feel the stretch.
Another stretch that you can do at home to loosen your foot and toes is with a tennis ball. It may help to do this exercise on a carpeted floor, or with a towel or pillowcase underneath so that the ball has good traction and doesn't slip out.
In a standing position, place a tennis ball under one foot. Then, use your foot to apply pressure on the tennis ball and move it around underneath.
Make sure that the tennis ball reaches all the way to your toes and right back to the heel your foot. Switch feet and repeat.
If you're looking for more information about foot health or exercises that you can do at home, then check out my other blog posts on the website.
Have fun and stay healthy!