As you age, the muscles in your feet, that support your arches, weaken. The wear and tear of your feet causes your arches fall and get lower. You can experience foot problems, such as flatfeet and plantar fasciitis. Problems with your feet can trigger neck and shoulder problems, lower-back and hip problems and stomachaches and headaches. To avoid foot problems, increase and strengthen your arches. Exercise the plantar fascia ligament and the posterior tibial tendon, which both support the arches of your feet.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
Walk barefoot on the treadmill, around the block or on a sandy beach. Take off your shoes and walk on your bare feet. Keep your feet aligned with your knees while walking and focus on the stretch in the tendons of your feet. Walking barefoot strengthens the muscles of your feet without the interference and support of shoes. Shoes take over the work from your muscles and therefore your foot muscles don't get the exercise that keeps them strong. Take a barefoot walk two to three days a week.
Perform toe curls to strengthen and increase your foot arch. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Point your toes for up to five seconds. Flex only your toes, not your feet, and hold this for five seconds. Exaggerate the arch of your foot. Curl your toes under and point them again for five seconds. Repeat the exercise as often as you can.
Pick up marbles with your toes to strengthen your arches. Place five marbles on the floor next to a cup. Pick up one marble with the toes of one foot. Place the marble in the cup with your foot. Pick up all the marbles with one foot before switching to the other foot. The curling motion you make with your toes exercises the muscles that support your arches.
Include toe raises in your arch-increasing exercise routine to strengthen the tibialus posterior muscle. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold onto the back of a chair for balance. Place your weight on the outer sides of your feet so your inner arches slightly rise off the floor. Come up onto the balls of your feet. Place most of your weight on your little toes, not in the centre of your feet. Raise yourself up as high as you can before lowering back down to the starting position. Repeat the exercise five times.
Use a towel to strengthen your arches. Place a towel on the floor and place your foot on it. Use your toes to grasp the towel and pull it towards you. Bunch up the entire towel. Push the towel away with your foot to spread it back out. Switch feet and repeat the exercise.
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- America's Podiatrist; Can Exercise Increase the Arch of Your Foot; Michael Nirenberg; Oct. 2009
- Health and Lifestyle: Correcting Foot Pronation (Collapting Arches) With Corrective Exercise; Gary Moller
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- WebMD; Marble Pickups; Shannon Erstad; Jul. 2009
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