Researchers have found that a few simple ankle/foot exercises can significantly improve the lower extremity strength and balance of senior citizens. As we age, we lose strength and mobility as well as coordination and balance. These things, especially in the lower extremities, increase the risk of fall-type injuries and more or less, slow us down. New research shows that a few simple exercises performed for 15-minutes, 3-times per week can significantly improve ankle/foot strength and overall balance. The 15-minute exercise session consists of a 5-minute warm-up, 5 minutes of ankle flexion/extension exercises using therapeutic elastic bands, ending with a 5-minute cool down period. When compared with seniors who did not participate in the simple ankle/foot exercises, those performing the exercises experienced a significant improvement in functional mobility and balance. Seniors should be especially cautious and discuss the appropriateness and safety of exercise regimes with their primary care provider such as their local chiropractor prior to initiating any exercise program.
Source: Geriatrics and Gerontology International, March 2009.