Arctic air has settled over much of the continental US, and the frigid temperatures mean most people are skipping their outdoor workout. The temps can be so off-putting that you might not even want to deal with leaving your place and driving to the gym.
However, you probably have some health-related resolutions that you want to stick to, so you have to find some way to get your daily exercise in. We thought we’d try to help by providing some exercises you can do from the comfort of your home that help keep your feet and ankles healthy. Check out those five exercises below.
Five Indoor Exercises For Your Feet
If you want to strengthen your ankle ligaments, blast your calves or improve your balance, consider these five foot-focused exercises:
1. Calf Raises – If you’re like most people, odds are you have a set of stairs somewhere in your house. Stand on a step and face toward the ascending stairs like you’re going to go up them. Hang your heels off the edge of the stair while bracing yourself by holding onto the handrail. From there, raise up onto your toes and then lower your heel back below the edge of the stair. Do a couple sets of 10-15 calf raises with each foot to help strengthen your calf muscles.
2. One Foot Balance Bends – This exercise really helps to improve your balance. Grab any small item, like a quarter, a marble or a dollar bill and head to a carpeted room. Put the item somewhere on the ground near your feet. Once it’s in place, pick up one foot so you’re standing on one leg. From there, try to bend, reach or twist down and pick up the item without losing your balance or touching the ground with your hands for support. Put the item in different positions so that you’re working new muscle groups as you bend to pick it up. Try this 5-10 times with each foot as a base.
3. Walk on the Balls of your Feet – Walk around your house on the balls of your feet for 10 minutes. Staying on the balls of your feet helps to strengthen your ankles, hamstrings and Achilles tendons. Walk forward, backward and sideways during this exercise to receive the most benefit.
4. Toe Grabs – The name of this exercise suggests that we want you to grab your toes, but actually, we want your toes to do the grabbing. Grab that same item from the above exercise or grab a small rag and put it on the ground. Stand on one leg and use the raised leg to try and pick up the item and bring it up to your hand using your toes. This helps improve key muscle groups in your foot. Again, put the item in different areas so you’re maneuvering in different ways.
5. Lunges – Finally, lunges are a great way to strengthen and stretch your calf, hamstring and glute muscles. Find an open space and lunge one foot forward, keeping your chest back and your head directly above your shoulders while making a 90-degree angle with your leg. Bring your back foot forward and repeat this process, this time lunging with the other leg. Do 20 lunges with each leg.