Swelling (edema), chronic pain, muscle weakness, loss of feeling (neuropathy), Plantar Fasciitis and deep vein thrombosis: all these are conditions caused or made worse by lack of adequate feet exercise.
Your blood slows down, your nerves get inflamed and your leg and foot muscles grow week. This can even affect the health of the rest of your body.
If you live a sedentary life where you spend most of your day in a chair or bed (e.g. you work in an office or you are bedridden), you are at a great risk of these foot problems. The best way to deal with them is to start exercising your feet.
You could run or go to the gym but that’s not always possible. Furthermore, your feet will benefit more from targeted exercises. That’s why we recommend foot exercise machines. These are machines, usually compact in size, designed specifically to improve the health and function of your feet.
Benefits of foot exercise machines
- They boost blood circulation. This has many benefits including faster healing, improved nerve function, stronger muscles and less pain.
- They improve muscle strength. Activities like walking, running and cycling help boost muscle strength in the feet. If you can’t any of them, a foot exercise machine can help.
- Better overall health. Foot exercise machines have a lot of interconnected benefits ranging from healing nerve inflammation to lowering the risk of oedema. Altogether, these benefits make your feet and your body healthier.
Foot exercise machines are also beneficial for people with existing foot conditions such as arthritis. But make sure you talk to your doctor first for advice before using any foot exercise machine.
There are many types of exercise machines with different features and functions. Here are our top five recommendations you can start using to see immediate improvements in your feet and legs.
Best foot exercises machine reviews
The ReaseJoy Power Plate comes with 99 vibration levels. You can start at the lowest level and then crank it up to the most comfortable setting. The vibrations stimulate increased blood flow and strengthen your muscles.
There are also magnetic massage points to promote circulation and 2 resistance bands to provide workout versatility.
The Power Plate can be controlled from a small LCD touchscreen or using the accompanying remote control.
If you want some music during workout, the Power Plate has loudspeakers embedded in it. Just connect it to your phone via Bluetooth and play MP3 files on the speakers.
What we like about it:
- Versatile and easy to use.
- Integrated Bluetooth and speakers to play music.
- Includes a remote control. You don’t have to bend over every time you want to change a setting.
The Happylegs walking machine is great for those who for some reason cannot get enough exercise by walking or jogging. It’s also helpful if your doctor has recommended low-impact exercise.
This machine imitates your natural leg movement. You just need to place your feet on it and it moves them as if you were walking.
This stimulates increased blood circulation in your legs, reduces swelling and helps with pain management. It’s recommended for people with varicose veins, oedema, leg ulcers and cold feet.
There are three levels that vary in the number of steps you take per hour. The levels are 9V (3,120 steps/hour), 12V (3,960 steps/hour) and 15V (5,040 steps/hour).
What we like about it:
- Provides low-impact exercise that is safe and beneficial for those with existing health problems.
- 3 speed levels to choose from.
- Compact. You can even use it under your desk as you work.
The HoMedics leg exerciser works the same way as the Happylegs walking machine. You simply place your legs on it and it provides a gentle yet stimulating walking massage.
It’s great for those with limited mobility because of age, injury or illness. But you can also use it even if you are healthy. Use it in the office when working or at home when watching TV or reading a book.
The exerciser has three speed levels; slow, gentle and steady. You can also choose the most comfortable stride length from three options; small, medium and large.
The included remote controller makes the exerciser easy to use especially for those who may find it hard to keep bending to change a setting.
What we like about it:
- Easy to use especially with the included remote controller.
- Various settings to choose from. You can select what feels most comfortable for you.
- Compact and portable.
The last two exercisers we have mentioned simulate normal walking. The Homcom mini stepper simulates climbing stairs. It’s a bit more involving but it’s great for increasing blood circulation and strengthening your leg muscles.
It consists of two footpads with a textured surface to prevent slipping. Under the foot pads are hydraulic cylinders that go up and down.
There is a knob with which you can change the pedal height to simulate steeper stairs. This provides a more challenging workout.
The mini stepper comes with two resistant ropes for exercising your arms.
What we like about it:
- Great for muscle-building.
- Easy to use.
- Includes arm resistance ropes.
This is another good exerciser if you are looking for something a bit more exerting but still low-impact.
It has two foot pads with a wide textured surface to keep you safe when working out. The base is constructed from solid steel for durability. It can withstand weight of up to 100kg.
As you work out, a screen displays the number of steps you’ve taken, time and an estimate of calories burned. If you want to burn even more calories, use the two resistance ropes included to exercise your arms.
Note that it does not include a resistance adjustment knob. That means you cannot increase or decrease the exercise difficulty.
What we like about it:
- Includes resistance bands for your arms.
- Sturdy construction.
- Good for muscle building, blood circulation and knee health.
Frequently asked questions about the best foot exercises machine
Q: What is a foot exercise machine good for?
Regularly using a foot exercise machine reduces the risk of various foot and leg problems including oedema, chronic pain, muscle weakness, deep vein thrombosis and neuropathy.
A foot exercise machine stimulates your nerves, gives your muscles a strengthening workout and increases blood floor to your feet and legs.
This results in many health benefits both for your lower extremities and for the rest of your body.
It is especially helpful for people with mobility problems (it strengthens muscles), diabetes (helps with neuropathy and blood circulation), arthritis (strengthens joints and muscles and increases circulation) and other conditions.
Q: How does a foot exercise machine work?
There are different types of foot exercise machines.
Some work by creating vibrations. These vibrations stimulate nerves and muscles in your feet and legs and increase blood flow.
Others simulate walking. You place your feet on two pads and the machine does the walking for you.
This strengthens joints, improves blood circulation and stimulates nerves and muscles.
Others simulate the workout you’d get going up a flight of steps.
With most foot exercise machines, you can adjust the intensity of the workout – more or fewer vibrations, faster or slower walking and so on.
This allows you to choose the intensity you are most comfortable with.
Q: Does a foot exercise machine help with plantar fasciitis?
Yes, it can. Gently stretching and stimulating the muscles at the bottom of your feet can reduce the pain associated with planta fasciitis.
Q: Is a foot exercise machine safe for the elderly and people with injuries?
A foot exercise machine provides a low-impact workout. That means your joints and muscles do not receive any of the strain and shock associated with activities like running.
So yes, a foot exercise machine is safe for seniors and anyone with an injury in their feet, legs or hips.
In fact, your physio might recommend one of these machines to help in your recovery.
Just make sure that you set the right intensity level. You could still injure yourself or worsen an existing injury if you over-exert yourself.
Q: Which foot health problems can a foot exercise machine help with?
- Fallen arches: A foot exercise machine stretches and strengthens the tendons and muscles under your feet. It can also relive pain associated with fallen arches.
- Metatarsalgia: Using a foot exercise machine can ease pain in the ball of your foot (a condition called metatarsalgia). Strengthening and stretching exercises can also help quicken recovery and prevent recurrence.
- Neuropathy: Neuropathy (lack of sensation) in the feet is often by diabetes. Regularly using a foot exerciser can prevent the damage from worsening and help in nerve regeneration. A vibration foot exerciser is especially effective at stimulating muscles and nerves and increasing blood flow.
- Tendonitis: Low-impact exercise using a foot exercise machine greatly helps recover from heel or knee tendonitis. It stretches the injured tendons gently to strengthen them without aggravating the injury.
- Arthritis: A foot exercise machine can reduce arthritis symptoms including chronic pain, stiff joints, inflammation and poor blood flow.
Q: Who can use a foot exercise machine?
Anyone who wants to strengthen their feet and legs and improve flexibility, blood flow and nerve function.
But a foot exercise machine is especially beneficial for those recovering from injuries, ballet dancers who want to make their tendons and muscles stronger and more flexible, those with health conditions affecting their feet and legs, athletes and anyone who spends most of their day standing or walking.