Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Every day is a new day, but there’s something special about a new year that makes people think about new beginnings and investing in better health and wellness. What stops many people is feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead. Improving your health, particularly for your feet, doesn’t have to mean making huge sweeping changes right away. You can start with something simple, like strengthening your calves and Achilles tendons.
Your calf muscles and Achilles tendons are crucial for your ability to walk. When they hurt, you lose your push-off power and lower limb stability. Strengthening them builds up push-off power for your foot, but also helps fight stress and strain that contributes to overuse and pain.
Here are a few tips to help pump up your calves and Achilles tendons, so you can start building stronger, healthier feet in the new year:
Daily calf raises – Standing with your feet apart, slowly raise your heels as high off the ground as you can. Hold that position for a few seconds, then lower back to neutral and repeat several times.
Heel drops – Stand on a step with your feet hanging off the edge. Slowly lower your heels as far as you can, then rise back to a neutral position. Repeat this several times.
Single calf raise – Stand on just one foot and raise that heel off the ground as high as you can. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your heel and repeat.
Wall stretches – Put your hands flat against a wall and set one foot several inches behind the other. Leave your back foot planted and your knee straight. Lunge forward on the front foot so you feel a stretch in your Achilles. Repeat with both knees bent.
Doing even just a few exercises each day can help you develop healthy habits for stronger feet and make a big improvement in their power and conditioning over time. Start the New Year right with better foot care. If you’d like to learn more about strengthening feet, or aren’t sure how to build up your calves and Achilles tendons, let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC help you. You can reach our Metairie, LA, office for an appointment through our website or by calling (504) 708-4810. We look forward to helping you live with healthier feet this new year!