When it comes to summer plans, residents from Waterloo Region may not be taking into account any possible injuries, especially when it comes to the foot or ankle.
Foot and ankle injuries have been found to be the most common injuries reported by adults between the ages of 20 and 64, with more cases reported in the summertime.
Lisa Hammill, a Goodlife fitness trainer from Cambridge, says that foot and ankle injuries result from people spending more time outside on unstable surfaces then they normally would during the year.
“We’re walking on a beach, were hiking, were at a camp site where the ground is uneven, so were more prone to injuries of the feet and ankle.” says Hammill.
The first line of defence against a foot or ankle injury is exercise.
“It’s important to work in some stability training for your ankles and for your feet.” says Hamill.
“Generally when we exercise, we work usually in a front to back motion,” says Hamill, “so if you think of a squat, or a lunge or a run, we move in a front to back motion.”
Lateral motion exercises, like jumping jacks, help to strengthen ankles and feet, preparing them in the event of a trip.
“Side lunges, speed skater exercises and things like that to add a bit more stability and resistance through the ankle and the foot.” says Hammill.
And for people who suffer from arthritis, there are modified exercises that can be done without putting strain on the joints.
“Putting a resistance band around your foot, holding onto the other end of that, and then you can do a plantar flex or dorsi flex into that band, you can add that resistance without necessarily adding impact.” says Hammill.
Besides exercising, another way to take care of feet and ankles is to massage them using a tennis ball.
“It will help relieve any tension in the feet.” says Hammill.
Finally, the best way to avoid injuries Hammill says is to know your limits and be alert when outside this summer.
“Just kind of knowing your health history and taking care of your own body.” says Hammill.
“We don’t want to be sidelined during the summer with an injury.”
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