For my athletes, marathoners and runners, I’ve got a great link with some well-described stretches and strengthening exercises to prevent injury and keep your feet and ankles strong. I’ve only listed two here, but click through to see the full list with illustrations.
THE MONOPOLY GAME:
Put 10 small objects on the floor–like marbles or Monopoly pieces–and place a small cup nearby. Using your toes, pick up the pieces one at a time and put them in the cup. Do two sets of 10 with each foot. Compete with your spouse or kids to see who can do 10 in the fastest time. “That’s just so you don’t get bored,” Schneider says. “Strengthening your feet can be only so exciting.”
Sit down barefoot and cross your right leg so that your ankle rests on your left thigh. Hold your toes and bend them back toward your shin, stretching the plantar fascia. A study showed that people suffering from plantar fasciitis had a 77 percent chance of returning to full activity within three to six months after performing this stretch. Researchers suggest that you do the stretch 10 times at least three times a day (once or twice a day doesn’t produce as strong of an effect).
Photo credit sxc.hu user thesaint.