Illustration showing calf and foot exercises to prevent heel pain

Left: To strengthen arch muscles, place a towel on the floor, grab the towel with your toes and pull it toward you. Top: While sitting, grasp your toes and gently pull them toward you until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Right: Stand as shown, with your back leg straight and heel down. Move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Switch legs and repeat. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds — don't bounce — and do one or two repetitions two to three times a day.