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Get Happy, Healthy Feet

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From strengthening, stretching, and massaging, we've got tips for taking care of your feet.

You walk on them, stand on them, and squeeze them into shoes -- not to mention the heck of a beating you give them when you work out. Do these moves three times a week to stretch, strengthen, and rejuvenate even seriously stressed feet.

To Massage

Place your fingers under the sole of your right foot. Press down wherever you feel extra tension and hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides.

To Strengthen

Jillian Hessel, a Pilates instructor based in Los Angeles, suggests this move: Sit on the edge of a chair; place a pencil on the floor under your right foot with the point toward your right pinkie toe. Flex your ankle, lifting everything but your heel. Fan your toes apart and drum toes one at a time over the pencil, starting with your pinkie toe. Grip the pencil with your toes and pick it up, then place it back down on the floor. Repeat 5 times; switch sides.

To Stretch

Lie on your back with your right foot on the floor. Bend your left leg, keeping hands behind knee. Flex your left foot, slowly pointing it, reaching through your toes, then curl toes into a "fist." Flex your ankle, then slowly uncurl toes. Repeat 5 times; switch sides.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2006.

 

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