Walking in bare feet exercises the feet in the way nature intended. Though shoes protect the feet from cuts and bruises, they make our feet strike the ground incorrectly, which can lead to fallen arches and knee, hip and back problems. Walking in bare feet strengthens the foot muscles and leads to better postural alignment through the knees, hips, back and shoulders.
Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart. Raise your heels and stand on the balls of your feet for a moment and then slowly lower back down and lift your toes so you are standing on your heels. Repeat this 20 times. From the same starting position, roll your feet inwards so that your weight is being carried on the insides of the feet and through the big toes and then roll your feet outwards so that the big toes lift from the ground. Repeat ten times.
Walking with Foot Awareness
Plan a track through your home that includes different floor coverings such as carpet, tiles or wood if possible. Walk naturally but be very aware of your feet. Notice how your heel strikes the ground and then how your foot rolls forward until your toes push off for the next step. Try and be very aware of all this and how the different textures feel to your feet. Make sure you actively push off with your toes.
Heel to Toe Walking
Place one foot on the ground then walk by placing the heel of the other foot directly in front of the toes of the first foot. If you feel unbalanced, you may hold your arms out. Move slowly and spread your toes out as you place each foot down. Try to feel the weight being distributed to each toe.
Walking on Balls of the Feet
Walking on the balls of your feet gives strength and definition to the calf muscles. Staying on the balls of the feet also helps strengthen the ankles, hamstrings and Achilles tendons. For walking exercises, you do not need to move forward only. Try walking backwards or sideways to work different muscles in your legs. Walking up and down steps, if you have them in your home, is also an effective exercise.