Each year, over 2 million seniors end up in the emergency room for injuries related to falling, which often result in fractures, sprains, and other potentially serious injuries. Therefore, it is important to incorporate strengthening exercises to help with your balance to avoid tripping and falling. Regularly incorporating the following foot and ankle exercises into your weekly routine can not only improve your strength and balance, but can also provide improvements in your overall health.
- Ankle circles: A perfect warm-up for your legs that helps to increase mobility! Slowly circle your ankles in one direction, then the other either while seated with a straight leg.
- Calf raise: While standing and holding onto a support, slowly raise your heels, then lower. Repeat 10 times.
- Heel stand: While standing and holding onto a support, slowly raise your toes, then lower. Repeat 10 times. This exercise helps to strengthen the front of your legs.
- One-foot stand: At first, support yourself by holding on a chair and raise one foot and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat at least 10 times before switching to the opposite leg.
- Heel to toe walk: With arms extended out and gaze forward, place one foot directly in front of the other in a straight line. Repeat for 20 steps.
Doing these exercises 2 or more days a week can help to strengthen your muscles and joints so that you have the flexibility and power to prevent falls. You should give yourself support when starting off, but you can slowly challenge yourself by letting go and trying without holding onto anything.
If you experience any discomfort or pain, or have specific questions about improving balance, consult with our board-certified foot care specialist Dr. Russell Samofal at Podiatry Center of New Jersey. Our committed staff and podiatrist provide high quality care for all types of foot and ankle care issues in patients of all ages, including plantar fasciitis, toe deformities, pediatric foot problems, arthritis, diabetic foot problems, and sports injuries. Please contact our conveniently located office in Wayne, NJ at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment!