As runners we tend to abuse our feet. We pound on them. We get blisters. We lose toenails.
And (if you’re anything like me) we rarely take the time to give them the TLC they deserve!
In an effort to put a stop to runner’s foot abuse I thought I would share a few quick things you can do to keep your feet healthy and happy!
Yoga for Your Feet
While training for my first marathon I battled some severe pain in the arches of my feet on my long runs – by mile 18 it felt like I was landing on broken glass with every step. Thanks to my increased yoga practice and paying specific attention to stretching my feet regularly that pain was non-existant while training for marathon #2!
Here are a few ways you can stretch out your feet for happy (pain-free!) running:
If the above arch stretch is too much (you should feel a gentle stretch, NOT PAIN!) you can start off with a less intense version below:
And now that we’ve stretched out the bottom of our feet, let’s not forget about the top:
I’m sure you’ve read to roll your feet on tennis or golf balls to alleviate arch pain, but here’s a great tip – FREEZE THE GOLF BALLS!
Yup, roll and ice at the same time! (I keep a few golf balls in a zip lock in the freezer so they’re ready whenever I need them!)
Hope some of these tips help!
Are there any specific muscles you’d like me to address?
Let me know and I’d be happy to share some yoga poses that may help!
These will be very helpful since I’m coming off an injury and will be training for marathon #1 very soon.
So glad to hear you’ll be able to use these and good luck with your marathon training, it’s hard work, but definitely worth it!
Awesome tips thanks Danielle. I’d also love any stretches or poses you have for calves. Mine are very tight. At the moment I do self massage and foam roller as well as stretching. – Simone
Thanks Simone! I’ll definitely work on posting a few poses for calves…I’ll just need to wait until I can grab someone to take the pics for me!
Awesome I look forward to seeing them!
Great post. That arch stretch is awesome. My feet get so achy, and I’ve been plagued by toe cramps my whole life. I know that sounds silly, but when a toe cramp hits, man it hurts! And I often forget to stretch my feet, until they hurt, of course.
Thanks Karla! I’m usually the same way, I never thought to stretch/ roll my feet until after they were already hurting…this proactive way seems to work a lot better : )
does icing the golf balls increase your “yardage”? 🙂
Yup…except in running we usually go with mileage : )
Freezing golf balls – what a great idea!! I definitely forget about stretching the top of my feet – thanks for the reminder.
omg a couple of my other blog buddies were asking me about foot stretches a couple weeks ago! Rather than sitting on my feet (which I can’t do with my current knee issues), I do similar exercises sitting in a chair 🙂
If you don’t have golf balls, another idea that helps with plantar fasciitis is to fill a plastic water/soft drink bottle with water and freeze it. I then roll my feet over it – works a treat! 🙂
Great tip! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to give it a try!
Never thought of stretching my feet! That’s probably why they hurt/cramp up on me lol. Yet another beneficial thing learned from your blog 🙂
This is great! My feet are always tight and I never thought yoga could help. Favoriting!
Yeah! Hope they help!
Toenails are overrated!
I am totally going to try stretching my feet!
Great tips! I love the golf ball idea…definitely going to try it
Love this! Thanks, Danielle. I will definitely be incorporating these into my stretching when I start training again. My arches are always a problem, too.
I love freezing things! What a great idea! Have you ever tried tennis balls for other areas? (I’m just thinking out loud, I haven’t tried it yet)
Yup, I’ve used tennis balls, they work great for areas that you can’t get with a foam roller or when the pressure of a golf ball is too much! They’re actually good for the piriformis area since that’s a little hard to get to with the foam roller sometimes.
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Thanks so much for this! I’m always have one issue or another with my feet…and, admittedly, rarely (if ever) take the time to stretch. Will definitely try these out!
Also, wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award! Here’s the link with more info. 😀 http://thefinalforty.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/exciting-blog-news/
Hi! I never thought about the frozen golf balls… Thanks! I had problems with my sole and heel ( plantar fasciitis) and before, I was just using frozen bottled LOL. Anyways, my fascitis was cured through stem cell treatment, which I had with my ortho surgeon. Dr Grossman, 2 years ago. I am still active in running and I play basketball once a week. Thank you for sharing those stretches.. I will print a copy and try them soon. Stay safe!
Hi Michael, thanks for stopping by and glad you like the golf ball suggestion! I had no idea they could help plantar fasciitis with stem cell treatment, how interesting!). My only suggestion is to make sure these stretches are ok for you with your doc or PT since you have a history of problems in that areas…good luck!
Hi.. thanks for the concern… yeah, I guess I need to call my doctor again and check if I can have those stretches… Thank you!
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