Falls can be traumatic, and the older you are, the more serious they can be. June is National Safety Month, which raises awareness about ways to protect yourself and others from preventable injuries. Falls land in this category, because you can certainly take steps to prevent them! Balance exercises that strengthen your ankles are one important way to do this.
Balance exercises don’t have to be complicated for you to experience benefits—you don’t need special equipment to do them. Here are a few exercises to try to boost your balance:
- One foot balance: Try to balance on one foot without holding on to a chair or counter for 30 seconds. Then, switch legs. As this becomes easier, increase your time to a minute.
- Unstable surface balance: Stand on one foot on a slightly unstable surface, like a pillow or mini trampoline. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch feet.
- Leg raises: Standing on one foot, carefully raise one leg to the back or to the side. Hold it there for one second, then lower it to neutral without letting your foot touch the floor. Repeat this 10 times before switching legs. You may need to hold a chair to balance, especially at first.
- Blind balancing: As the standing exercises become easier, try to do them with your eyes closed.
- Heel-toe walking: Walk across the room putting one foot directly in front of the other. The heel of your front foot should touch the toes of your back foot when you step each time.
These exercises work the stabilizing muscles in your feet and ankles, conditioning and strengthening them. This helps your body manage your movement better so you’re less likely to fall. If you’re not sure how to do any of these exercises or are concerned about your feet or ankles in any way, contact us here at Absolute Foot Care Specialists with your questions. Call our Las Vegas office at (702) 839-2010 or use our online contact form to reach us.