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How to Strengthen Ankle Stability for Fall Activities

September 14, 2023 | By: Garrett Gingerich

Fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy the changing weather, but the uneven terrain and slippery surfaces can make it easy to twist or sprain your ankle and ultimately keep you indoors during injury recovery if you’re wearing a CAM walking boot. If you want to stay safe and active this Fall, it’s important to improve your ankle stability with some specific exercises. And if you do fall victim to a walking boot, quickly ditch it for an ankle brace that fits over your shoe and keeps you hiking, leaf peeping, and pumpkin carving.

Hiking 

Hiking is a great way to enjoy the fall foliage, but the uneven surfaces can further alter your your pattern of walking (gait) and cause further damage if you’re wearing a CAM walking boot. To improve your ankle stability for hiking, you can wear your RecoverX Brace along with your hiking shoes or boots.

To strengthen your ankles for fall hiking, try doing these exercises:

  • Heel raises: Stand on a step or curb with your heels off the ground. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels back to the ground.
  • Single-leg balance: Stand on one leg with your other leg raised behind you. Hold for a few seconds, then switch legs.
  • Calf raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your heels off the ground as high as you can. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels back to the ground.
  • Ankle circles: Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Circle your ankles clockwise and then counterclockwise.

Leaf Peeping 

Leaf peeping is a popular fall activity in which people travel to view and photograph the fall foliage in areas where leaves change colors in autumn. Traveling and getting around in a CAM walking boot can be difficult and dangerous, as the changing seasons can make the ground too slippery to walk. Wearing shoes with proper traction along with your RecoverX Brace can improve your ankle stability on the leafy ground.

Try these exercises to help you prepare for the seasonal changes:

  • Walking on uneven surfaces: Walk on uneven surfaces, such as rocks, logs, or tree roots. This will help you train your ankles to adapt to different terrain.
  • Stair climbing: Climb stairs slowly and carefully. This will help you build strength and coordination in your ankles.
  • Balance exercises: Do balance exercises, such as standing on one leg or balancing on a wobble board. This will help you improve your balance and coordination.

Pumpkin Carving 

Pumpkin carving is a fun fall activity, but slippery hay and farm fields can be uncomfortable and unsafe for a CAM walking boot, while altered hip alignment can make it difficult to pick up your prized pumpkin. To get yourself ready for pumpkin carving, try doing these exercises:

  • Squats: Squat down and hold for a few seconds. This will help you build strength in your ankles and legs.
  • Calf raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your heels off the ground as high as you can. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels back to the ground.
  • Ankle circles: Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Circle your ankles clockwise and then counterclockwise.

By doing these exercises regularly while wearing the right shoes during recovery, you can improve your ankle stability and reduce the possibilities injuries during Fall activities.

 

DISCLAIMER: These activities and exercises can be dangerous to do while wearing a walking boot. We recommend speaking with your physician about alternative solutions for ankle recovery and when you’re ready to get back to activities of daily living. The TayCo RecoverX Brace is recommended for: Stabilization of the ankle and hindfoot for ankle sprains, post-operative ankle support, ankle instability and tendonitis. Individual results may vary. The contents of this blog post are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute medical, legal, or any other type of professional advice. Always consult a doctor or medical professional for diagnosis and treatment of any pain or injury, or if pain or discomfort continues to get worse.