July 7, 2019

Stretching my toes with YogaToes

I recently read an article in the May issue of Women's Health about the importance of stretching your feet. Stretching and flexibility training has always been important to me, especially with Taekwondo, flexibility is necessary for kicking.  I foam-roll, stretch all my muscles (arms, legs, stomach, back....you name it, I stretch it), but I discovered after reading the article that I have been completely ignoring my feet. This article came right at a time I needed to read it because I have taken up running again. And after running long distance my feet and toes ache. I also feel pain on the bottom of my feet and the the tendons on the top of my feet feel tight. My pinky toes have been broken in Taekwondo. And I wear heeled shoes during the day (I know..not healthy for my feet). So my feet have been a mess.

Our feet carry our entire weight, they are tired, sometimes in pain, so stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility that can help with exercise, walking, balance,  and providing some pain relief. It is important to do sets of foot therapy, at least twice a day:
  1. Move big toe up and other toes down; pause, then reverse. Do this 10 times, then switch feet.
  2. Using toes, pick up 10 small objects (like marbles) and place in a cup nearby. Repeat with other foot.
  3. Sit and rest ankle on opposite thigh. Bend toes back toward shin; pause, then release. Do 10 times, switch feet.
This has led me to the use of YogaToes Gems spacers.  YogaToes are supposed to help create some space between your toes, stretch your toes, and helps with circulation.

You pull each gem in between each toe, which gently spreads them apart providing relief while your toes are stretched.

This has become a nightly ritual for me. Once I put them on I feel instant relief. It is recommended to start wearing them for about 10 minutes at a time and work your way up to 1 hour. When I first started, I experienced some pain as my toes were not used to being spread apart, but now I can wear them up to an hour.

I highly recommend these. Wearing the Gems along with the stretches above, I have noticed a big difference in the way my feet feel and look. My toes were tightly crammed, and now there is some comfortable difference between each toe. Wearing the Gems helps relieve pain after my long runs or a long day wearing heels. I feel like I negate what I do during the day during the night when I wear these.

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