Your feet handle a lot of stress with every step you take, and that stress can get amplified up during athletic activity or exercise. It’s important to stay active to help strengthen your feet and their supportive soft tissues, but overdoing it can have the opposite effect. Sometimes when we exercise to intensely or too frequently, we can overstress the areas that are working the hardest and oftentimes that’s the feet.
Aside from finding a healthy balance between exercise and recovery, how you exercise is also crucial to protecting your feet. In today’s blog, we share some exercises that will get your blood pumping and strengthen your feet without putting excess pressure on them.
Low-Impact Exercises To Strengthen Your Feet And Ankles
If you want to strengthen your feet, ankles and the surrounding ligaments without the traditional stress that running provides, consider these exercises:
1. Swimming – Swimming is an excellent exercise for anyone who wants to get moving without putting pressure on their feet. Swimming is great because it works a number of different muscle groups, and the natural buoyancy of water means you’re only handling a portion of your natural body weight. This is great for both exercise enthusiasts and those recovering from surgery or injuries where they need to be limited weight bearing.
2. Yoga – Yoga is another activity that we recommend to a number of our patients. Yoga not only works to strengthen key muscle groups in your lower body, but it can also greatly expand your flexibility and range of motion in your ankle joints. Maintaining healthy range of motion in your ankle joints can help ward off problems caused by arthritis. Yoga has also been shown to help improve balance, which can prevent injuries from falls.
3. Elliptical – An elliptical can make it feel like you’re running or walking without the stress that is channeled on your feet when you land on the ground. These machines are often readily available at gyms and don’t take up too much room if you’re looking in buying one for your basement or workout area.
4. Cycling – Whether on a stationary bike or cruising the scenic Minnesota trails on a real bicycle, cycling is another way to exercise and improve your lower body. Cycling can help develop calf and ankle muscles, and you’re not overloading your feet in the process. Just make sure you wear a helmet in case of an accident!
5. Lunges and Resistance Training – There are also plenty of exercise routines you can perform in your home with ease that help to improve your feet and ankles. Lunges, for example, are a great way to strengthen your ankles and feet with some methodical movements. The same can be said for resistance band training exercises.