As some of you who have been following know, I’ve been working on ankle strengthening exercises to help build back my ankle strength after both of them being injured.
I’ve stuck with balancing on one foot on surfaces of varying difficulty. You can try standing on a mat, a carpet, a wood floor, etc and balance on one foot for about 10 seconds. I’ve worked up and try to do longer periods when I can. The different floor types will make this harder. A hard, flat surface, should be easier than a soft, movable surface like a mat. I switch feet to work them both. This is great because anytime I have a moment and think of it, I can do it. I don’t need to be at a gym. I can do this making dinner, watching TV, being bored at work, etc.
I’ve also continued to do some of the resistance band exercises using the rubber band like ones. The different exercises are listed in a previous blog. However it is basically using the resistance while moving pointing and flexing your feet. Sometimes when I don’t have the band on me, I will point my left toes out while flexing up my right toes towards me and then switch. I do this for about 10 reps. You could try three sets. After a set I will circle my feet about ten times, then circle away 10 times and then do the next set of pointing and flexing. These work very well together and can be done anywhere you can get a spot on the floor. You just sit and put your legs out in front of you.
These exercises are easy to keep up with. Now that it is spring and I’m feeling the need to be outside more, I’ve been doing a great deal of walking and hiking. I walk my dog through cornfields, which are great for ankles because there are the stalks and very uneven ground. This keeps the ankles working. Hikes that are a little on the bumpy side instead of flat work well too.
It is hard to say if my ankles are getting less injury prone. However, when I used to hike, I was prone to rolling my ankles a great deal. It was never a problem. It was one of those things were it hurt for a moment, caused a loss of balance, but I was fine. The past several hikes I have not rolled my ankles. I also noticed in times of slipping my ankles moved in the ways they are supposed to in order to not be injured. Before these were times they would have rolled. Again, it’s not scientific and I’m not sure what would happen if an injury situation reoccurred. However, I’m feeling confident, feeling stronger, and it seems to be helping. I’m going to keep at it. I think mixing that with a bit of caution and care might keep me safer.