Notes About Your Feet

Feet are an often neglected part of the body. The only time we pay attention to them is when they hurt and keep us from dancing. Here are some simple exercises that can keep your feet in dancing shape.

Sit upright in a comfortable chair and remove your shoes and socks.

1. Bend and Point - Stretch your feet out in front of you and bend your feet up like you are trying to touch your toes to your knees. Hold for seven seconds. Then point your toes like a ballet dancer. Hold for seven seconds. Repeat 10 times. This is good for your shins and calfs.

2. Toe Circles - Cross your legs at the knees. Rotate the ankle of the upper leg so that the big toe draws large circles in the air. Draw 10 clockwise circles and 10 counter clockwise circles. Then switch feet. This is very good for ankle flexibility.

3. Toe Stretches - Curl your toes down like you are trying to pick up some thing off the floor. Hold for seven seconds. Spread your toes out like a fan and hold for seven seconds. Repeat ten times. This increases toe flexibility, balance and circulation.

4. Sole Massage - Place a golf ball on the floor and roll it around under the soles of your feet. Apply as much pressure as feels comfortable. This stimulates the blood flow to the bottom of the foot.

5.  Weight Lifting - Sitting with your feet flat on the floor, place a one pound bag of rice across your toes. Keeping your heels on the floor, lift and lower the rice slowly ten times with each foot.

This next exercise is an advanced stretch of the Achilles tendon and the plantar ligament. Do this only after doing the other stretches.

1. Find a large book that is 1˝ to 2 inches thick. Place the book on the floor in a doorway.

2. Stand with your heels on the floor and the balls of your feet on the book. 

3. Holding on to the door frame, s-l-o-w-l-y raise your self to tip toe on the book. Then very s-l-o-w-l-y lower your heels to the floor. DO NOT let your heels drop to the floor.

4. Repeat 10 times. This will increase strength and flexibility.

To keep the skin of our feet in good condition they need an occasional soak in a tub. This softens the the skin of the callouss and around the toe nails. Soak your feet in warm, not hot, water. Lightly scrub the feet with a plastic scrubby to remove the loose dead skin. An old tooth brush works well to clean the cuticles around the nails. Always, always dry carefully between the toes. If the towel is too thick use a thin dry wash rag. This is the best prevention for athlete’s foot fungus. Do not put on socks and shoes until the feet are completely dry.

Toe nails should be trimmed regularly about once a month depending on how fast they grow. Consider going to a nail salon and having a pedicure. It is much easier for someone else to get the proper angle on the nails and they will file off any rough edges that could snag your socks. The foot soak and massage will get the blood flowing and feel great.

If you have an ingrown toe nail there is only one treatment and that is to have it cut out. You must see a podiatrist. Do not force a piece of cotton under the edge of the nail. The cotton just becomes hard and collects bacteria. Do not cut a ‘V’ in the toe nail. This does not do anything. Do not delay until the pain is unbearable and you can’t dance.

For a finishing touch keep a a bottle of lotion on the bed side table. Before slipping your feet under the covers give them a quick rub with a generous amount of lotion. This will be good for your hands as well.

If you have any foot problem see your medical provider. If you are diabetic, foot care is of extreme importance and you should have regular professional foot care. Your feet are not suppose to hurt. With proper care and good shoes you should be able to dance all night long.

 Spokane Area Council, Spokane, Washington - SpokaneSquares@icloudcom - 509-489-4492