Been taking some time off and just cruising along and enjoying life?
Or maybe you’ve been so busy and stressed that exercise has fallen by the wayside.
Maybe it’s just never been a priority for you.
Regardless of the reason, you’re at high risk for an ankle sprain if you haven’t been physically active for a long time and are just beginning activity again.
So, rather than spraining your ankle, going to the doctor, being in pain, and maybe having to take some time off work too, think ahead and prevent all that stress and hassle.
What You Can Do
Before you begin whatever physical activity you have in mind, do these things:
Try to balance on one foot for as long as you can. To keep it time-efficient, do it while you brush your teeth in the morning and at night. Once that becomes easy, balance on one foot while closing your eyes – but you don’t have to be brushing your teeth in that case.
To improve your ankle’s strength, lay on your back and hook a towel over the end of your foot and continue to hold both ends with your hands. Move your foot up, down, in, and out. Your hands and the towel provide resistance to your ankles, which improves strength.
You can also do online research and talk with a podiatrist to create a custom program you feel confident in.
I’ll make no mistake about it – braces are controversial and you’ll hear different opinions on them. For now, the latest research shows braces help protect your ankles without any negative side-effects.
Not everyone likes braces, either. But they can offer great support and protection when you first start. Then, once you’ve gained some confidence, you can start going shorter, and eventually longer, distances without them.
These also get hotly debated in the podiatry community. But an article at Podiatry Today notes:
“Out of all the pathologies that podiatric physicians can prescribe foot orthoses for, the one condition which has the most compelling scientific evidence justifying orthotic use…is chronic instability of the ankle.”
You and your body need time to get used to quick and fast movements. If you’ve mostly been walking, or perhaps speed-walking, for the past several years, your body’s not ready for more rapid exercise movements.
So don’t try to run a couple of miles right away. Run a half mile, and then walk a half mile. You get the point.
And then after a few weeks, your body will be ready for more prolonged intense movement.
Ultimately, you have to create your own custom program for returning to physical activity. And, you can always do this with help from a podiatrist if you feel you need it.