As people age, they are often faced with the need to focus on their feet and ankle joints. With arthritis, many problems can occur in these areas, making it difficult to exercise. These 8 exercises are great for helping seniors manage pain, improve flexibility, increase strength, reduce stiffness and maintain their range of motion.
Seniors are faced with many challenges when it comes to their foot and ankle joints. As people grow older, their bodies often develop problems that require attention. One of these problems is arthritis, which can cause pain in the foot and ankle joints. The muscles may begin to weaken and the range of motion in these areas may be limited, making it difficult to exercise properly.
Fortunately, there are many exercises that can help seniors manage their arthritis pain and improve their mobility. By performing these exercises on a regular basis, the muscles will continue to strengthen and the joints will continue to get stronger. This will make it easier for seniors to move around without causing too much pain.
Table of Contents
- Foot and Ankle Exercises Strengthening Benefits
- 8 Foot and Ankle Stretches to Try at Home For Seniors
Foot and Ankle Exercises Strengthening Benefits
The exercises for seniors with arthritis will help to strengthen the muscles around the foot and ankle joints. This will make it easier to fully move around. The stronger muscles will be able to support the joints as they move, reducing pain and discomfort.
In addition, stronger muscles can increase endurance and help prevent fatigue, which is common among those with foot and ankle problems. The stronger muscles will also help those who have been diagnosed with poor circulation or those who have reduced range of motion in these areas. This is a safe exercise for hip pain.
When performing these exercises, it is important to take precautions. Find a safe area to perform the exercise and do not overdo the exercise. Find a qualified instructor who can show you how to properly use each exercise. Good foot and ankle exercises will help seniors live a pain-free life while maintaining their mobility and strength.
8 Foot and Ankle Stretches to Try at Home For Seniors
We often think of exercise for seniors in terms of weight-bearing activities like walking, but there are many other important benefits that come from exercise. Exercise helps increase circulation throughout the body, improves mood, can boost immunity by activating the immune system, and is even known to help maintain cognitive function as we age.
Learn about 8 exercises you can do to strengthen your feet and ankles, to help prevent falls.
Ankle Circles help reduce swelling by keeping the lymphatic system healthy and moving.
Start in a seated position with your feet flat on the ground. Keep arms at your sides, palms down. Move your feet in a clockwise motion, making small circles with the balls of your feet. After ten circles, reverse direction and make smaller circles with the soles of your feet. Remember to keep moving for thirty seconds each way.
Heel and Toe Raises Seated
Heel and Toe Raises help maintain muscle mass in the lower legs, thus preventing muscle wasting.
To perform this exercise, sSit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Raise your toes as high as you can keeping your heels on the ground. Come back down, and then raise your heels as high as you can keeping your toes on the ground.
This exercise is good for improving circulation and providing support to your feet and ankles.
To perform this exercise, with your legs out in front of you, place a roll just under your ankle so your heel can move freely. Moving only at your ankle, draw letters with your foot.
Ankle Plantar Flexion
Ankle Plantar Flexion is a great way to stretch out the ankle and make walking easier.
To perform this exercise, with your legs out in front of you, place a roll just under your ankle so your heel can move freely. Trying to keep your leg straight, push your foot down like you are pushing on a peddle, and then back up.
Walking on Toes
Walking on Toes help reduce swelling in the feet by increasing circulation.
To perform this exercise, while standing up as straight as possible, put your feet about shoulder width apart and lift your heels off the ground. Walk on your toes back and forth.
Walking on Heels
Walking on Heels is an easy exercise that can help prevent falls in seniors with balance problems.
To perform this exercise, put your feet about shoulder width apart and rock back on your heels lifting your toes up. Try not to stick your bottom back. Walk on your heels back and forth.
Single Leg Balance
Single Leg Balance is an excellent exercise for tightening muscles and increasing blood flow throughout the body.
To perform this exercise, stand next to something sturdy in case you need it for balance. Lift one leg while balancing on the other leg.
Achilles Tendon Stretch
Achilles Tendon Stretch helps keep the Achilles tendon flexible and strong.
To perform this exercise, stand on something sturdy like a step. Put the ball of the foot you want to stretch on the edge of the step. Relax your heel down towards the ground until you feel a stretch, and hold it.
As you can see, there are a number of simple exercises that every senior should be able to perform if they want to prevent chronic pain from developing. While it is certainly possible for any person to develop a chronic injury, a healthy lifestyle can help a great deal in avoiding these issues. The focus should always be on prevention, rather than after the fact treatment.
Why should seniors exercise their feet and ankles?
Because the foot and ankle joints bear the weight of the body and motion of walking, they are often weakened over time. To help prevent injuries, we recommend that seniors exercise their feet and ankles regularly to strengthen them.
Do I need to take precautions with footwear and socks?
No, this is not necessary. Just make sure you don’t do these exercises barefoot or with open-toed shoes.
How often should I do these exercises?
Do as many as you want to help alleviate pain and improve mobility in your elderly feet and ankles.
When should I do these exercises?
As many times as you can. Just make sure that they are done regularly to keep your feet and ankles healthy and strong.
How will my feet and ankles feel after doing these exercises?
Your feet and ankles may feel a little sore for a short time afterward, but they will be stronger and more flexible. As a bonus, you will probably start feeling younger in your joints.