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Stretch your feet out! Or else...

One of the positive things to take away from our COVID-19 pandemic has been that people have spent more time together doing physical exercise outdoors or even just on their own. Gyms were closed but that didn't stop people from biking, hiking, or walking/running. The hi-tech options were home stationary bikes connected to a video program or even a rectangular mirror screen.

No matter how you tried to or will try to exercise, you should stretch the major structures in your feet. Not doing so can lead to unnecessary strains, sprains, and even fractures.

The Achilles tendon, aka. your calf muscle, needs to be warmed up before you put it through different exercises and terrains. An effective method is the wall stretch. This involves putting both hands on the wall in front of you and then placing one foot behind, allowing your other knee to bend. You should feel a comfortable stretch on the calf muscle of the foot that is positioned behind you. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds and do 15 repetitions. Don't forget to do the other side too!

The plantar fascia is your arch ligament. It is stretched similarly, but done sitting down. Place a long towel or stretchy therapy band at the ball of your foot and pull on the towel towards you. Again, hold the stretch for 15 seconds and do 15 repetitions. Switch to the other foot. Voila!

These two simple, quick, effective exercises will prevent a lot of foot injuries. Remember, your foot is an awesome mobile adapter to different shoegear, terrains, speeds, activities, heights, etc. Doing this little bit will keep them in peak condition for whatever exercise or activity you want to do during these difficult times!

Dr. Sanjay Gandhi

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