If you suffer from foot pain and tired feet, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans deal with chronic foot-related discomfort on a daily basis, and the pandemic has only made the situation worse. Experts have even come up with a nickname for the massive increase in foot pain among the general population in the past couple of years: “pandemic foot.” As we ease back into our normal routines, there are steps we can take to keep our feet healthy and happy!
It might sound counterintuitive, especially if you’ve been on your feet all day, but exercise is one of the foremost solutions to relieve achy feet. Why? It’s simple: strengthening the foot muscles and joints leads to healthy, happy feet. The more powerful your foot and leg muscles are, the easier it is for them to withstand daily pressures and recover more quickly. So, even if you’re beat at the end of the day, find an hour to visit the gym. Don’t forget to pack your gym bag essentials, from H2O to performance socks!
Here are a few exercises that will get your legs and feet in tip-top shape in no time:
- Walk. Walking puts your foot through its entire range of motion, so hit that treadmill.
- Swim. Water aerobics is another low-impact option that will build strength throughout your entire body.
- Heel raises. A major cause of tired feet is weak calves. Strengthen calf muscles with calf raises—you can even do them while you’re brushing your teeth in the morning or washing dishes at night!
- Hop around. If you’re suffering from weak hips, your feet and ankles will compensate, which translates to tired feet. To improve hip, ankle, and foot coordination, try performing single leg hops.
2. Wear the right socks and shoes
If you’re hitting the treadmill or even sitting at the office in restrictive socks and shoes that aren’t designed for comfort and support, then you’re pretty much guaranteed tired feet. Treat your feet right by selecting high-quality shoes that promote foot health and always grabbing a fresh pair of performance socks. Not only will you get more out of your workouts, but you’ll boost recovery, too! Here’s what to look for in the best socks for tired feet:
- Breathable and moisture-wicking. From lightweight, performance fabrics to venting technologies, athletic socks should move heat and moisture away from your body, so your feet stay cool and fresh.
- Comfort and fit. A major cause of tired feet is uncomfortable socks that fit poorly, slide around, and bunch up, which can lead to blisters and other injuries. Arch support is especially important for healthy, energized feet and ankles.
- Cushioning. To relieve achy feet, look no further than socks with a cushioned footbed. It absorbs impact and boosts comfort levels.
Each of your feet is made up of 20 muscles, any of which can get stiff and achy from overuse (or underuse!). Targeting the major foot muscles with special stretches helps relieve tired feet. Here are a couple of stretches to get you started:
Write the alphabet
If the tops of your feet are stiff or uncomfortable at the end of the day, then increasing mobility in your ankles and big toes will help. While sitting or standing in a comfortable position, lift one foot a few inches off the ground and write the letters of the alphabet in the air with your big toe. Repeat with the other foot.
Improve flexibility and mobility by performing toe raises. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your toes on the floor, raise your heels until only the balls of your feet remain on the ground. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower your heels.
To take the stretch to the next level, lift your heels until only your toes remain on the floor. If you’re feeling ambitious, lift your heels and curl your toes inward until just the tips of your toes are touching the floor. Repeat 10 times for each stage.
4. Elevate Your Legs
A surefire remedy for tired feet is to prop up your legs and keep them elevated—even while you sleep! Aim to elevate your feet at least 6 inches above your heart. Elevation increases blood flow away from your achy feet and toward your heart, which also reduces swelling in your ankles.
5. Sleep More
How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Experts recommend logging between 7 and 9 hours to give your body plenty of time to rejuvenate itself. You might be surprised to learn that not getting adequate rest can have a major impact on foot health.
Get this: recent studies indicate that when we’re tired, our motor control plummets leading to measurable changes in gait that seriously affect balance. You might not notice it, but your muscles will be compensating for that unsteadiness, leading to straining, misalignment, and joint pain. Ouch! Moral of the story: get more shuteye.
We Put Foot Health First
Whether you’re a gym shark or a couch potato, foot health matters. Here at Fitsok, we help you put your best foot forward (pun intended) with high-quality, performance socks engineered right here in America. Comfortable, breathable, moisture-wicking, and perfectly fitted to your unique foot shape, grab a fresh pair to see the difference it makes in providing relief to tired feet—your feet will thank you!