While many people are aware of the benefits of regular exercise, they may be neglecting an important aspect of fitness: stretching. Stretching is a very basic movement that you can use to loosen up your joints and keep your muscles limber. You probably even do some stretches instinctively, like when you first wake up in the morning and reach your arms above your head or curve your back. And the benefits of this simple activity reach far beyond decreased risk of injury. When you stretch regularly, you can count on:
Long work day? Heavy workout? Regular aches and pains from everyday activities can be uncomfortable at first, but left unchecked, they can build and become a complete nuisance. Avoid the trouble altogether and opt to stretch whenever you feel a tightness in your feet. Wearing the right shoes during the day can be a huge help as well. KURU’s patented HEELHUGR™ is made to cradle your heel more naturally and protect the fat pad in your heel from becoming worn or thin. Many people may also have an issue with pain in the arch of the foot, and pain relief can be one stretch away! The Toe Extension/Arch Stretch and the Kneeling Plantar Fascia Stretch below specifically target this pain.
Better Flexibility and Range of Motion
If you are looking for a simple way to improve your flexibility, there is nothing easier than to do a few light stretches once a day or every couple of days. The tendons in your feet can become tight or inflamed fairly easily, especially considering that they are holding up the rest of your body throughout the day! Issues such as plantar fasciitis can crop up with improper shoes or rigorous activities that put a lot of impact on your feet. KURUSOLE™ has you covered in the shoe department, by giving you a completely custom fit that cushions and supports right where you need it. But that is only half the battle. Keeping a regular schedule of stretching your feet can give you better range of motion in your ankles and your feet themselves. This leads to better balance and agility, and that means more freedom to try new things!
Corrected Bone Alignment
The human foot was made to stay bare and is most efficient without shoes. The only problem with that is, modern changes in our landscape have made it difficult--if not dangerous--to go out without shoes to protect our feet. The natural heel drop in our shoes allows for a more natural stride and a close-to-nature bone alignment. If your feet feel natural in your shoes, they will not have to work harder to keep proper bone alignment. For those of us who may need a little more help, you can find some excellent orthotics to give you a little extra support to lean on.
Shoes are a very important part of foot health, so how can stretching help? It all comes down to “teamwork”. If your muscles and tendons around the bones are healthy and working properly, they can give your bones the support they need to stay right where they belong and work at full capacity. Keeping your muscles healthy includes regular stretches and exercises which will condition those muscles for whatever life throws at you!Toe extension/Arch Stretch
You will feel the benefit of this stretch across the top of your foot and all the way up through your shin. When you do the second half of the stretch, you will feel it in the arch of your foot. Both of these movements have a really positive impact on your pain relief and the flexibility in your ankles and feet.Kneeling Plantar Fascia Stretch
This is a great stretch for people who have tightness in the arches of their feet. The stretch, if done correctly, can also aid with sore muscles in your shoulders and neck. A good time to try this would be right after you wake up in the morning, a time when many people say that they have the most tenderness in their muscles. It may even help to wake you up a bit and get your day started on a good note!Toe Extensor Foot Stretch
The toe extensor foot stretch targets the top of your foot, and both the upper and lower extensors of your foot. The extensor is what helps to either extend or detract your foot, using your ankle as a “hinge”. People who drive a lot or sit for long periods of time have probably felt a tightness in that area as it can get very stiff if you do not stretch it during the day. Some shoes can also aggravate the area if the tongue or top of shoe presses into it.Plantar Fascia Massage
This massage is excellent for people who suffer from pain caused by plantar fasciitis or fallen arches. You can do this right after getting out of bed in the morning, or when you get home and take your shoes off. Another thing that you can do to help relieve pain from these issues is to wear shoes that provide good support in that area, like KURU shoes with our KURUSOLE™ technology, which give you excellent support and superior comfort.
Give these stretches a try and you will be one step closer to better foot health!