No rest for the weary this holiday season between the shopping, the decorating and the parties. Your feet take a beating whether you are pounding the pavement at the mall or standing all evening in elegant high heels.
Soothe your feet with theses stretches designed by Katy Bowman, a human-movement expert in Los Angeles courtesy of Real Simple magazine. Do the three-move circuit—up to three times daily while you’re on, say, the holiday party circuit—holding each move for up to a minute. These stretches really work and allow you to keep partying in your stilettos.
Move 1: Straight Leg Stretch
Sit on the floor facing a wall with your legs straight and your feet flat against the wall. (You may want to sit on a pillow to make the move more comfortable.) Bend forward as far as you can to stretch and lengthen your calf muscles and hamstrings (wearing heels can cause them to tighten).
Move 2: Toe Release
Stand as if you’ve just taken a step forward with your right leg (so your left leg is behind you). Tuck your left foot under so the tops of your toes touch the floor. You should feel a stretch along the top of your foot. Hold, then switch feet.
Move 3: Five Finger Toe Spread
Sit on a chair and cross your left leg, resting your ankle on your right thigh. Weave the fingers of your right hand through the toes of your left foot to separate them. Focus on spreading your toes wide; try not to pull them up or down. Hold, then switch sides.
A warm water foot soak can also do wonders, fill your tub with warm water up to your ankles, add epsom salts and a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil and soak away!