Feet go through a serious growth spurt when you’re young, increasing a full size every four to eight months during your first five years. They stabilize around age 18 to 20, but once you hit your forties, you may need to start shopping for larger shoes again. That’s because the more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in each foot begin to weaken at this age, causing your bones and your feet to spread out. Also the natural fat pads that cushion your soles become thinner after years of stomping around (especially if you’re a runner or spend a lot of time in heels), which makes walking barefoot uncomfortable.
To keep your feet strong and pain-free, choose shoes with arch support to take some of the strain off your ligaments, and put your toes to work three to four times a week with exercises that strengthen the small stabilizing muscles. For example, did you know that flexing your feet stimulates the nerves and muscles in the area to rev up circulation and make you feel less fatigued?
Arch Stretch ~ Cross foot over opposite thigh. Lightly grasp toes, gently pulling them up and toward you, until you feel a stretch along your arch. Hold 10 seconds, then switch feet.
Toe Raise ~ Start with foot flat on the floor. Keeping heel on floor, lift toes and curl them under for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times, then switch feet.
Ball Roll ~ Using light to medium pressure, slowly roll a tennis or golf ball back and forth under the entire length of each foot for 1 min.
And here’s something to think about: There are 52 bones in your two feet, which is 25% of all the bones in your body. By age 50, you will have walked about 75,000 miles, roughly three times around the equator. And there are 250,000 glands in the feet.
~ from Healthy Body, March 2017
You can always ask your bodywork therapist at Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto to concentrate a bit more time on your feet as part of your weekly therapeutic session. This will help to naturally boost your energy and help keep you more grounded.