Your feet carry the weight of the world. We walk, run and exercise, carrying our full body weight on our feet. Whether you work on your feet all day or sit at a desk, your feet are still the one part of your body that gets used on a daily basis but you never think to exercise. Toega has become a workout trend because stretching out your tootsies has numerous benefits. Taking care of your feet via a few simple exercises can help improve stability, increase mobility/range of motion, and help prevent overuse injuries like shin splints or plantar fasciitis.
Here’s what you need to know about Toega, and the exercises you can incorporate into your routine right away.
It benefits more than just your toes
Yes, it’s called Toega, but these moves can benefit all the tendons and ligaments in your feet. When your feet are happy, then your ankles, knees and hip joints will likely follow suit. However, when the feet are unhappy, you’re prone to various injuries in the legs and even your back.
Most people should do it
If you wear shoes all day, especially if they have any type of heel, you could reap the benefits of doing Toega. Even your beloved ballet flats can cause unnecessary stress on your feet due to lack of arch support. Men and women alike can benefit from the range of motion you can achieve with just a few simple exercises every day.
Incorporate it daily
Unlike major muscle groups like your core or the large muscles of your glutes and thighs, doing Toega takes mere minutes to reap the benefits. The movements are so easy that you can do most of them at your desk at work or on your living room floor. However, some of the movements — particularly if you’ve never paid attention to your foot mobility — can be intense. Build your way up by doing the exercises for 30 seconds each. Eventually, you can do them for minutes at a time.
Here are some Toega exercises that you can do at home or in your next yoga class.
Sit on your heels
With your toes facing forward, sit on your heels. This will give you a deep stretch through your entire arch. If this is too intense, you can sit with your legs straight out in front of you and flex the toes in a similar fashion using a towel.
Hands on heels
Once you’ve graduated from sitting on your heels, try putting your hands on your heels. You’ll keep the toes flexed forward as you did in the exercise above. Once your hands are safely on your heels, try to lift your pelvis forward. This exercise is sort of like camel pose in a regular yoga class, except that your toes are still flexed forwards.
Big toe isolation
Even taking time to take your shoes off and spread your toes wide is a great stretch. Try isolating your big toe in some of the stretches. Place the big toe on the ground, and spread all of your other toes wide and off the ground. Try holding that big toe on the ground while the others are spread in the air for 30 seconds. It can be more difficult than it sounds, so try building up your strength by doing this a few seconds at a time.
Try doing these exercises for just a few minutes daily, and watch your foot health improve. Your feet will thank you for finally giving them the TLC that they deserve.