High heels, flats, boots, sandals, sneakers, socks, and hosiery. Your feet spend a great deal of their time in some type of footwear, which may leave you with very little wiggle room!
Our toes are an extension of our feet, as our fingers are to our hands. We can become unconscious as to how our toes are functioning unless our feet begin to hurt. At that point we give them all of our attention!
The feet and toes endure the stress of the body by bearing all of the impact from our walking, running, hiking, and stairs climbing. When they get tired and sore our inclination is to “put our feet up” to alleviate the pressure.
We can give our feet and toes some much deserved love by elevating them, regularly stretching them, wiggling them, and letting them free by going barefoot.
Not to mention de-stressing them with a massage and a lovely pedicure!
Wiggling Exercises Help Increase Mobility In Toes
We benefit from having healthy, mobile toes as they are the last point of contact in every step we take. You can check in on your connection to your toes in a few simple steps.
- Stand with your bare feet comfortably shoulder width apart, on a bare floor or carpet.
- Take a deep breath in and exhale letting the weight of your body sink down into your feet.
- Take another deep breath in and while exhaling consciously lower your shoulders and release any tension in the backside, knees and calves.
- Take a third deep breath in and on the exhale close your eyes and feel what you feel in your feet.
- Without looking at your feet, notice how many toes you can feel individually, without adding additional pressure on them. (In the countless pairs of feet I have worked with, its common to feel the big toe clearly and the balance of the toes feel like one unit or a team).
- Looking at your feet, try spreading your toes apart from each other. This may be easy for some and a challenge for others.
- Keeping your toes spread try to bring them down one at a time, starting with the baby toe and ending with the big toe. (Tip: It helps to mirror this movement with your hands at the same time).
- And repeat.
Unlike our fingers, we do not expect our toes to be as dexterous, however in the confines of our footwear we do not often give them a chance to be free.
Why do it? We naturally wiggle and stretch our bodies after sitting or standing for extended periods. Our toes and feet benefit from doing the same to them to rejuvenate the circulation.
Add The Wiggle Back Into Your Toes
If your shoes allow for it, slide the heel out and spread the toes and try to bring them down individually from baby toe to big toe (as above), while waiting in a line up, under your desk and of course doing the same barefoot on the grass, while sitting on the couch, waiting for the toaster, or walking on the beach.
If you need some help spreading those toes to get them wiggling. Watch this video for some easy ideas to help you do just that.