Your feet work hard for you every day. Especially at this busy time of year for many people — shopping, get-togethers with family, friends, and co-workers, and school events — there is no shortage of time spent on one’s feet.You may not think about your feet that often -- way down there at the ends of your legs -- but they're an essential part of almost everything you do. Whether walking, running, exercising, or just standing, having feet that are comfortable and well-cared for (rather than aching or in pain) makes the experience must more pleasant. this isn't just about feeling good. When your feet don't get the attention they need, chronic problems can develop, which may trouble you for years to come. In many cases, there are some simple stretches and exercises that can help keep your feet in top form. Circulation problems are often associated with older feet, but the fact is that anyone can have such problems. When there's not enough blood flowing to your feet, you may experience tingling, numbness, cramping, and discoloration of the skin and toenails. One of the best ways to avoid trouble with your feet is to exercise preventive care.
Just like your neck, back, and shoulders, your feet can also benefit from a regular rubdown. Foot massage improves circulation, stimulates muscles, reduces tension, and often eases pain. It also gives you a chance to check out your feet so you can get a jump on treating blisters, bunions, corns, and toenail problems.
A professional foot massage is a treat, but not necessary to get the benefits. Here is a guide to a do-it-yourself foot massage:
- Sit in a comfortable chair. Bend your left leg and rest your left foot gently on your right thigh.
- Pour some skin lotion or oil into your hand. Rub it gently into your foot and massage your whole foot, including the toes, arch, and heel.
- Do a deeper massage. Press the knuckles of your right hand into your left foot. Knead your foot as you would bread. Or work the skin and muscles by holding a foot with both hands and pressing your thumbs into the skin.
- Using your hands, gently pull the toes back and forth or apart. This stretches the muscles underneath.
- Repeat on the other foot.
Massage devices in local drugstores or health stores can also help relax and restore your feet. Foot rollers are low-tech devices that can provide fast foot massages at home or at work. Simply remove your shoes, and roll your feel over the massagers for a quick pick-me-up.