We could all do with better foot mobility. A few minutes a day of stretching and moving your feet will do them the world of good. Our feet are our foundations and if they aren’t healthy – pliant, mobile responders to the ground below us and to the movement coming down from the body above – they can be the source of a great deal of pain further up in the knees or hips or spine (see Warning! Your feet are your foundation).
Rolling your feet on the ball will help release the fascial connective tissue on the base of your foot, allowing all the muscles and tendons and ligaments of your foot and your calf to breathe a little. It will also bring blood flow to the area, encouraging the flowing in of nutrients and the removal of waste at the tissue level. Since the body is made up of long chains of connective tissue that run the length of the body, this rolling can have a benefit for your whole system.
Stretching your calves will start to reverse the effects of wearing shoes with a heel (even a small one has a negative impact) and allow more movement at your ankle.
The listening foot exercise encourages the rotational mobility of your foot that is lost through wearing rigid-soled shoes and walking on pavement and solid floors all the time.
The toe stretches will encourage better alignment to an area of the body that is sorely neglected (even if you have had a pretty pedicure – although those toe separators that they use will have done you good, pinch them next time you have a pedicure and slip them between your toes while you are watching tv at home for a lazy stretch session).
All of these exercises will encourage more blood, lymph and electrical (nervous impulse) flow to your feet, leading to healthier, happier, less wanting-to-hurt-you-as-you-get-older feet.