Gainesville Health and Fitness: Exercises to Ensure Happy and Healthy Feet

GHF’s Director of Personal Training shows ways to improve foot strength and flexibility
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:09 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - If your feet feel funky or your toes are tight, you are not alone.

Matt Mallard, the Director of Personal Training at Gainesville Health and Fitness said, “if your feet aren’t working right, the rest of your body is probably going to follow and not work right either.”

If you worked from home during the pandemic, you might have foot pain during your work out. That’s because if you work in slippers or barefoot for an extended period of time, the tendons and ligaments in your feet break down.

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“Hearing a lot about things like plantar fasciitis for instance,” said Mallard. He explained, “if you wake up in the morning and first thing, you go to put your feet down on the floor and your arches, the bottoms of your feet hurt really bad, that’s a pretty early indicator of plantar fasciitis.”

Setting aside two to three minutes when you wake up and before you go to bed, can ensure happy feet all day long. Strengthen using a stretch strap or towel, and roll out pain using a lacrosse ball.

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“You’re going to go ahead and start working the arches and the middle section of your foot,” mentioned Mallard. “You don’t put any pressure down until you go in and massage that area out. Maybe do a couple of small stretches.” He added, “if you got pain and a limited range of motion as a result of it, you should probably go see somebody who is going to be able to help you out; because it’s probably going to just get worse over time, if we are not attacking it from a strengthening and release sort of approach.”

And in some cases you should kick off your kicks. Going barefoot can be beneficial in learning how your muscles move.

Mallard explained, “you may have not known you had some tightness or plantar fasciitis, and then all of a sudden you go barefoot, and you’re like, ‘oh my goodness, the bottom of my feet are absolutely killing me.’ Well that’s because you went away from your shoes with lots of support to no support whatsoever, and you didn’t know how to properly hold your feet in position, so it just makes those problems even worse.”

This segment is sponsored by Gainesville Health and Fitness.

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