It’s common to get sore feet when you’re walking or standing all day, especially if your shoes lack arch support and/or have a high heel. The problems can be worse for heavier people, as their feet have to bear more weight. Sore feet are a real bummer because they make us less inclined to remain active, even though a good barefoot stroll on soft carpet might be the quickest remedy. But when you can’t take another step, stop, and do some of these stretches.
The stretch will be intense and if it’s too much, simply come back to a kneeling position but keep the toes curled (image 2 below).
After about 30 seconds lean forward to hands and knees, then slap the tops of your feet on the ground (image 3 below).
Repeat the stretch one or two more times. The bottoms of your feet (the plantar fascia) may not thank you immediately, but over time performing this stretch may make you less likely to feel heel pain at day’s end.
Next find a stair step. Put the ball of one foot on the edge and hang your heel over, pushing down as far as you comfortably can. This gets the calf and the sole in one stretch, if you can push your heel down far enough. (see left)
If you don’t have a handy stair, lie on your back and place a belt around the ball of your foot. Pull the ends of the belt down while you straighten your leg and push upward with your foot as much as possible. (see right)
Finally, if you’re in full yoga mode and hoping to get the Achilles tendon warmed up, find yourself in a normal downward facing dog. Then fork the back of one heel with the first two toes of the other foot and press both feet downward toward the floor.
Calves and soles are also great candidates for massage, so don’t be afraid to squeeze, knead, and roll any places that feel tight. Or have a partner do it while you enjoy your favorite sitcom. Just don’t let him forget the peppermint foot cream.