In the United States, six percent of the population suffer with fallen arches (or flat feet), according to the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association. Doctor prescribed exercises, physical therapy and the right kind of shoes helps flat feet sufferers regain some shape and strength to their feet. The remaining 94 percent that have slight arches to high arches, exercising their feet is equally important. With the help of some household items, you can train and exercise your feet without spending money for equipment or classes at the gym. The following are six steps to take to strengthen your feet.
Step 1: Use a Towel
Sit upon the floor or a bed, bringing your knees to your chest. Fold the towel out in front of you and lift your foot into it, placing the toes and the ball of the foot against the towel. Push your foot, pushing the towel and stretching your leg straight out in front of you until the calf is resting on the floor or the bed. Pull some resistance into the towel now, drawing your toes and foot back at the ankle, and then press your toes forward. You should be pointing them as far as you can while holding the resistance with the towel. Do this, at least, ten times and then switch to the foot on the other leg. This exercise helps strengthen the arch and the ankle of each foot.
Step 2: Use a Wall
In your home, find the wall free of furniture and decorations. A closed and locked door will work just as well. Stand with your back up against the wall, as if you are checking your posture. Slowly back up against the wall until you come all the way up onto your toes. Hold your posture. Slowly maneuver back down to standing flat on your feet. Do this at least five times or until you feel the burn in your calves. This exercise helps strengthen your calves, ankles and helps shape the arches of your feet.
Step 3: Use Floor or Bed
Lie on your back and place your feet flat against the wall. Move your body into a comfortable position that will allow you to walk your feet up the wall. Do not allow your feet to come off the wall. Your feet should remain flat against the wall and your toes pointed as you near the point of stopping. Hold the position and then walk your feet back down the wall the same way. Repeat this until you feel the burn in your calves. This exercises your calves, ankles, and helps shape your arches.
Step 4: Use a Small Bouncy Ball
The small bouncy balls that children love to get out of gumball machines work well. Sit on the floor or in a chair and place your feet flat against the floor. With your toes, try to pick up the small bouncy ball. Once you have it held with your toes, lift your foot up off the floor and stretch your leg straight out and hold for a minute. Bring your leg back in and then set the bouncy ball onto the floor. Use the toes of your other foot to repeat the same step. This exercises the arches of your feet.
Step 5: Use a Friend
Using a friend as resistance as you flex your toes to exercise is a great benefit, and sometimes for them, too. As your friend applies resistance to the top of your toes by pressing gently down, flex your toes upward against him. You can shift the resistance by having your friend push upward against your toes as you push your toes downward. Here is where some fun can happen and a friend will benefit. Massage his back or chest with your feet using your toes to press into him, as if you were trying to grip the bouncy ball. This exercises the calves, ankles and strengthens the arches of your feet.
Step 6: Use the Alphabet
Stretch your legs out on the floor in front of you, trace the alphabet with the toes of your feet. You can sit in a chair as well, and lift your legs straight out in front of you. Press your toes forward as if pointing them and trace the capital letters of the alphabet in the air. Do this slowly for maximum benefit. This exercise helps strengthen the calves, ankles and works to strengthen the arches of your feet. Used regularly in physical therapy, this exercise helps individuals with ankle injuries.
These 6 steps are basic ideas meant to help strengthen fallen arches. If your fallen arches bring you pain, then checking with your doctor about the above exercises before doing them should be first on the list.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Jeannie Peacock