The beginning of the year is a time when podiatrists see a rise in patients complaining of foot or ankle pain as they make a resolution to be more active. Many of these injuries can be prevented through proper warm ups and stretches. It is especially important during this time of year when it is cold outside and muscles tend to be stiff, so protect yourself from foot and ankle injuries with these warm ups!
The goal of a warm up is to slowly increase your body activity to warm up your muscles and increase oxygen flow in preparation of a more rigorous activity.
- Walk briskly 5-10 minutes to get your blood flowing.
- Ankle circles – Warm up your ankles by circling each one about 8 times before switching directions. Repeat with the other ankle. You can also trace the alphabet with your toes while sitting.
- Plantar fascia – While sitting, roll a golf ball under the arch of your foot for 2 minutes on each foot.
- Towel pull – While sitting with both legs stretched in front, wrap a towel around the bottom of one forefoot and pull to feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly release for 30 seconds. Repeat at least 3 times.
- Calf stretch – Stand in a lunge facing a wall and bend the front leg until you feel a stretch on the back calf and Achilles. Hold for 30 seconds. You can also repeat with both legs bent.
- Leg swings – Stand on one foot and swing the other leg forwards and backwards, lifting no more than a foot from the ground. Swing 20 times on each leg.
Consulting with a podiatrist before starting a new activity can ensure that your feet are in good health and can be protected from unnecessary injuries. Podiatry Center of New Jersey uses advanced technologies and offers compassionate care to help patients with their unique podiatric conditions. Dr. Russell Samofal is a board-certified podiatrist who commonly treats toe deformities, diabetic foot problems, plantar fasciitis, and sports injuries. Call our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 to schedule an appointment today!