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DIY Physical Therapy: Foot Massage

Fifty-two little bones carry you through your day, schlepping around your kid, oversize bag, and groceries. And what do they get for their trouble? A whole lotta neglect. Try these soothing foot exercises to turn your sore tootsies into happy tappers in no time (take your pick!):

Sitting Calf Pumps Place your feet flat on the floor. Lift your heels while keeping your toes grounded, and hold for five seconds. Then switch: Heels down, toes up. Repeat the series three times, suggests Stephen Paulseth, D.P.T., from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Toe Massage Firmly hold one toe and slowly move it from side to side, up and down, and then tug it gently away from your foot. Repeat on all ten toes, pausing to press the space between each toe for several seconds.

Foot Fist Sit in a chair with your bare feet on the floor. Curl your toes under as though making a fist and squeeze. Hold for five seconds, then relax. Repeat.

Ballet Pointe Stretch your legs out in front of you while seated on the floor. Point your toes forward and hold for 15 seconds, then relax. Reach down and pull your toes back into a gentle stretch for another 15 seconds, then release. (It's okay to bend your knees a bit to help you reach your toes.) Repeat ten times.

Pressure Massage Sit in a chair and place one foot on your opposite thigh. Firmly walk your thumbs up and down the arch, lingering on any tender spots. Then do the same thing from side to side. Repeat on the other foot.

Mutual Massage Give and receive some foot love with your hubby by sitting on opposite ends of a sofa with your legs stretched out between you. Use your thumbs to press and massage from his heel to his toes, keeping in line with the big toe. Then move toward the little toe and massage your way back down to the heel. Repeat on the other foot.

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