What can you do to ease the throb? The following moves can help you start your day on the right foot.
Before You Get Out of Bed
These gentle stretches can loosen up tight muscles and improve blood flow. You can also take an anti-inflammatory to relieve the pain, says Tabari.
1. Towel stretch
Sit up in bed, legs stretched in front. Loop rolled-up towel (or exerciseband if you have one handy) beneath ball of right foot. Keeping leg straight, gently pull towel toward you and hold 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch sides.
2. Sitting stretch
Cross left leg over right knee. Grasp base of toes on left foot and stretch toward your shin. Hold 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch sides.
Stretch and Strengthen
Do these simple moves daily to help ward off those morning aches.
3. Heel stretch
Stand arm’s length away from wall; place hands flat at eye-level. Step left foot back and push against wall, bending right knee while keeping left heel on floor; don’t bounce. You should feel a stretch in the muscles in the back of your left leg. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds (or about 4 to 5 breaths). Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch sides.
4. Kneeling stretch
Kneel on mat with toes tucked beneath you. Gently sit back on heels, stretching bottoms of feet. Hold 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
5. Heel raises
Stand on edge of step and hold onto railing for support. Stretch left heel down at least 30 seconds. Press up with same foot 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times and then switch sides.
6. Ice roll
While seated in chair, place frozen water bottle beneath arch of one foot. Gently roll back and forth 5 minutes. Switch sides.