Warmer weather encourages more outdoor exercise. If you have the time, take advantage of the first days after we “spring forward” and enjoy a brisk walk or jog. For those dealing with chronic joint pain, regular exercise can offer a respite from discomfort. Movement helps lubricate the joints, get the blood pumping, and helps improve your overall mood.
It’s important, before you start on your planned path, to warm up your joints and muscles. Going into a long walk or run without proper prep can increase the risk of soreness or injury, and even discourage you from making exercise part of your routine. You’ll want to pay special attention to your ankles as you walk or jog, too, as one simple misstep can cause you to roll one.
Warming up your ankles makes for good injury prevention. Patients with diabetes, and osteoarthritis may experience weak ankles due to poor circulation. Here are three simple exercises to try for ankle care:
Standing Calf Raise
This is a good exercise to help with balance issues.
- Stand straight, both feet hip-width apart.
- Raise yourself up on your toes as high as possible.
- Slowly, lower your heels back to the floor.
- Repeat at least ten times. Use a chair or rail for balance if needed.
This exercise stretches the muscles in the ankle area.
- Lie flat on your back, legs outstretched, with your toes pointed at the ceiling.
- One at a time or together, point your toes forward as if reaching for the floor.
- Go as far as you can, then hold the position for three seconds. Then return.
- Repeat at least ten times for each foot to complete a set.
This exercise is designed to strengthen your lower leg muscles as well.
- Stand straight. Lift the front of your feet so your toes are raised.
- Walk across the room only on your heels.
If you experience any discomfort or pain during exercise, you may want to consult with your physician. At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our staff works daily with patients to improve their quality of life. If joint pain in your legs is a continuing problem that keeps you from work and your favorite activities, contact us today for information on procedures and therapies designed to help.