ChatterTip of the Month February 2012

Tips for Healthy Ankles

Last year, we talked about tips for healthy blood and circulation, because Aquarius rules over these areas. The sign of Aquarius also rules over your ankles, so this time we’re giving you some tips for, yes, you guessed it – Healthy Ankles! As with the other joints in our physical bodies, we need the ankles for flexibility, to allow us to flex the foot and rise and fall as we walk. It’s one of those areas we can easily forget about too. With so much else to remember, who thinks of their ankles?

Ankle Stretches
A very easy way to stretch the ankle and Achilles tendon is doing Heel Raises. Stand on a step or stair, with your weight on the balls of the feet and the heels hanging over the edge of the step. Gently and slowly rise up onto your toes and then lower them down again, but instead of lowering the feet back down to horizontal (or flat) allow the stretch to continue so the heels go down below the level of the stair. This way the ankle, foot and heel get a good stretch below the step, as well as above.

Another good stretch is the Towel Stretch, where you simply sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you, then take a towel (or a belt) and put it around your feet. Keeping the back straight, gently pull on the towel so the feet and ankles get a good stretch.

Ankle Flexibility
To keep your ankles flexible with a good range of motion, check out these simple exercises. First of all, Foot Circles – while sitting at your desk, one leg at a time, simply lift the foot off the floor and while still keeping it relaxed rotate the foot in a circular motion several times in both directions.

Then we also have Point & Flex – again this can be done while sitting, one foot at a time – simply point and flex your feet, up and down, several times, but feel the stretch throughout the whole foot, do it nice and slowly so you feel it.

Ankle Strength
To maintain strong ankles, see how good your Balance is – simply practice standing on one leg. If you feel pressure in the knee of the leg you are standing on, then flex the knee slightly, but still keep the torso nice and straight. When I was doing a lot more dance and physical training, I would often practice my balance exercises while waiting in line for something, or standing on the subway platform.

And then we have the Alphabet Exercise – again, while seated on a chair (and perfect for our intellectual air sign of Aquarius) write the entire alphabet in the air with one foot. Then change legs and repeat with the other foot. This exercise will use all the muscles of the ankle.

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