Welcome to January 2015’s blog and a very warm Happy New Year to you all! It’s a frosty morning as I write this and the sun is starting to make all that it touches sparkle. The icy, rough and churned up ground is the perfect back drop for this month’s subject, your ankles. I have chosen ankles because its relevance to your balance, which we covered last month in December, is so closely related.
Most ankle problems present themselves as a ‘weakness’ with episodes of pains and strains limiting recovery. This results in certain activities being avoided or modified. The knock on effect of this is often poor balance and a sense of vulnerability so we avoid/modify even more and the sorry downwardly spiralling tale continues. Until today that is! Today you will learn that you can strengthen your ankles and understand how to use them more normally developing greater balance, confidence and stability. Hurray!!
So what are the warning signs your ankles have a mind of their own?
• You wear more supportive footwear more often than was once necessary
• You use your ‘better’ leg to step over or onto something awkward
• You avoid running even a few steps because it will jar your ankle
Raise your heels as far as is comfortable even if it is only enough to pass a piece of paper underneath.
Raise your arms to make it harder
Walk about on your toes with your heels raised at a comfortable height.
Gradually increase the length of time you can raise your heels and or walk about.
Place your hands on a wall
Move your knees over your toes, keep your heels down
Feel the stretch in the back of your calves or fronts of your ankles.
Hold for 10 seconds.
Kneel with the tops of your feet and toes on the floor and sit back on your heels putting as much weight over your heels as is comfortable.
If it is too painful, place a rolled towel between the floor and the front of your ankle and over time reduce the height of the towel.
Hold for 10 seconds.
It may not be second nature to implement this into your life. It may feel like a real effort and an awkward add on. However dropping it into your day will allow it to become more familiar with a greater likelihood of it then becoming a habit. Abraham Lincoln was on my wavelength when he said; “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”
And thank heavens for that! Keep it simple, keep chipping away!