Are you a senior citizen, or are you approaching retirement age? With all the miles that you put on your body, you are likely feeling pain and discomfort, especially on your feet and ankles.
As a senior, the health of your feet and ankles is crucial. They play a vital role in maintaining your balance and stability. Moreover, studies reveal that having healthy feet reduces your risk of falling.
How do you keep your feet strong and healthy? Let’s go over some of the best foot and ankle exercises for seniors that you can do at home to maintain strength and health in your feet and ankles.
Stability and Balance
As mentioned earlier, foot and ankle strength play an important role in keeping your body stable. With your stability and balance in check, you can avoid accidents. You can also do more things even if your speed is already on a decline.
Here are some foot and ankle exercises that will do wonders for your body.
- Ankle Circles
One of the keys to maintaining your balance is having strong ankles. Hence, your goal is to keep them strong and flexible. One of the best exercises that can help keep your ankles flexible is doing ankle circles.
This exercise will help your ankles’ mobility, especially when moving them upward and downward.
To do this, sit on a stable chair and position both your feet flat on the floor. Extend your left knee, then move your foot clockwise in a circular motion. Start with 20 repetitions before rotating toward the other direction.
Move to your other leg then straighten your right knee. Perform the same circular motion on your right ankle 20 times. Closeout the exercise by doing another 20, counter-clockwise.
- Heel Stand
Another key to keeping your ankles strong and flexible is regular stretching. Performing heel stand exercises does exactly that. Furthermore, heel stands to strengthen the front portion of your lower legs.
This gives you the mobility to raise your toes and avoid tripping.
To perform the exercise, stand behind a chair and hold its backrest for support until you get your balance. Raise up your heels then slowly lower them and repeat 10 times.
Make sure that you exhale when your toes are moving up, and inhale when moving them down. Additionally, keep a straight body. Try not to lean on the chair as much as you can.
- Butt Squeezes
Do you often experience your legs and ankles swelling? Reduce the swelling by doing some butt squeezes.
You have the option to do this either sitting or lying on your back. For starters, choose the position that is most comfortable for you. Tighten your glutes or butt muscles.
You want to tighten those muscles as if you were trying to pick up a small item using your butt cheeks. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds before relaxing. Repeat until you complete 10 squeezes.
- Ankle Pumps
This exercise is perfect not only for relieving ankle swelling, but also for recovering from an ankle sprain. Lie down on the floor and elevate your feet. Point the toes of both feet towards your head.
After that, point them down and away. Do this until your complete 30 repetitions. Perform this exercise three times a day.
Another alternative is to sit on a chair while elevating your feet using a stool. You may also tap your toes while following the beat of your favorite song.
- Heel to Toe
This exercise is arguably the simplest on the list. All you need to do is to walk across the room in a heel to toe manner. You might already be doing this, but probably not all the time.
With this exercise, you are going to consciously walk from heel to toe. Start by placing your right foot in front of your left foot. You want the toes of your left foot touching the heel of your right foot.
Slowly move your left foot forward until it reaches the front of your right foot. During the motion, make sure that your heel carries your body weight. Thereafter, transition your weight from your heels to your toes.
Take 20 steps to complete a set.
- Tightrope Walk
If you want to improve your balance while fixing your posture and strengthening your core, this is the exercise you want. Extend your arms and hold them straight out from your sides. You want your arms to be parallel to the ground.
Start walking on a straight line. Every time you lift your foot, pause, and hold your position for about two seconds. Keep your head and body straight while aiming for your balance.
Complete around 15 to 20 steps.
- Rock the Boat
Are you someone who loves taking daily walks? Then you will enjoy the Rock the Boat exercise. Layout your exercise mat and sport your favorite walking shoes.
These will give extra support for your feet during the exercise.
Stand with both your feet shoulder-width apart. You want to maintain even weight on both legs. To increase your balance, raise your arms on both sides.
Look straight forward while positioning your shoulders back. Slowly raise your right foot off the ground, raising your leg. Pause and hold your position for about 30 seconds then slowly return to your starting position.
Do the same thing with your left leg and repeat the cycle five times on each side.
While regular exercise is paramount to your health, you must never place your body in a compromising spot. Here are a few important reminders to follow before starting any kind of exercise routine:
- Consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
- Start small and slow. If you are struggling with the number of repetitions, cut the number in half.
- Consider inviting your friends during your exercise sessions. As they say, the more the merrier.
- Stop your activity in case you experience dizziness or feel chest pains.
Take Care of Your Feet and Ankles
Through these foot and ankle exercises for seniors, you can strengthen your feet, improve your balance, and reduce the risk of accidents. However, if you already have issues with your feet and ankles, we have the means to address them accordingly.
Get in touch with us and schedule an appointment at our New York office today. Let us take a look at your foot and provide the proper diagnosis and treatment. Take care of your feet and ankles today.