Creating Happy Feet

Nobody will fault you for admitting it is easy to forget about your feet.

After all, feet are way down there. Unless you are looking straight down, which makes walking rather dangerous, you can’t really see your feet. And you know the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” For the most part, we take our feet for granted. 

And that is not a good thing to do because, when you think about it, feet are important to almost everything we do. Whether standing, walking, cycling, climbing, jumping or running, feet literally carry the load. And having feet that are happy, or at least comfortable, makes all of those activities a whole lot more enjoyable.

Trouble is, by the end of the day, our feet can be pretty tired. So, with suggestions from the researchers at East Carolina’s University’s Biomechanics lab, here are few exercises to put some energy back into your feet and your day.

  1. Be a Ballerina: Put your legs straight out in front of you. It’s best if you can prop them up on a stool, chair or the coffee table at home. Point your toes forward, much like a ballerina pointing her extended foot. Hold the position for about 15 seconds. Then relax your toes and point them towards the ceiling, holding that position for 15 seconds. Repeat the routine several times.

  2. Toe Curl: Keep the same position as above, but after you are finished, curl your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Then relax your toes and rest.

  3. Tip Toe Stand: Take your shoes off. Stand with your feet flat on the floor and then stand on your tiptoes. Hold for five seconds, then come down.

  4. Rolling Tap: Again with your shoes off, keep your feet flat on the floor and tap your toes, and then tap your heels. Then alternate — tap toes, tap heels.

  5. Shake and Wiggle: Move your feet in a circle, clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Shake your feet around, and then wiggle your toes.

— Frank Graff

Frank Graff is a producer/reporter with UNC-TV, focusing on North Carolina Science Now, a weekly science series that airs Wednesdays, beginning in August 2013, as part of North Carolina Now on UNC-TV. In addition to producing these special segments, Frank will provide additional information related to his stories through this North Carolina Science Now Reporter's Blog!

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