Tips to Improve Your Ankle Health

You may be doing a great job on your fitness journey as far as finding fun and effective classes at your gym and hitting your own personal goals for health and physique, but are you forgetting something? When was the last time you thought about your ankle health? Many people are focused on losing weight to the extent that they neglect the health of the other structures of their body such as the ankles. If you don't have a strong foundation then your fitness and athletic aspirations will be mitigated.

Ankle sprains and ankle fractures are the most common musculoskeletal injuries of the ankle. Management of a broken ankle usually depends on the severity and extent of damage to the bone and the surrounding soft tissues. Your risk of suffering from these injuries is often influenced by your ankle health. 

Don’t miss these tips on keeping your ankles healthy and strong! 

Choose Shoes That Fit You Well 

When choosing shoes to wear, don’t necessarily pick shoes just because they look good. Choose a pair that’s also comfortable, well-padded, and provides adequate ankle and foot support. 

If you want to prevent injuring your ankles, high top shoes can make a difference. These are a type of athletic shoes that are higher than your ankle. Since high top shoes are tailored in a way that they extend up past your ankle, it has been shown in a study that they limit your extreme range of motion and help decrease ankle joint stress. 

We've all fallen into the trap of purchasing shoes because they looked great or were on sale instead of fitting well and being high quality. Most people pay the price for this tradeoff with foot, ankle, knee, or even hip / back issues so it's just not worth it.

Strengthen Your Ankles With Simple Exercises 

Aside from wearing the right shoes, you can strengthen your ankles by adding simple exercises to your fitness routine including: 

Ankle Circles. This exercise helps improve the stability and flexibility of your ankle joint. To do this, sit on a chair and raise one of your legs just about 2 or 3 inches from the floor. Rotate your foot clockwise about 10 to 20 times. Then repeat the same movement counterclockwise. Do this on both legs for about 3 to 4 sets. 

Ankle Range of Motion. This ankle exercise is similar to ankle circles. But instead of moving your foot in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction, move it like you are drawing all the letters of the alphabet in the air. Do this for about 2 sets. 

Toe and Heel Walks. This exercise helps strengthen your ankles and improve your balance. Using just the balls of your feet and your toes, walk about 10-15 yards (like you’re tiptoeing). After walking with your toes, use your heels to walk back and cover the same distance. When doing this exercise, try to walk slowly to avoid losing your balance. 

Avoid Wearing High Heels 

Wearing high heels definitely makes your legs and feet look sexy and slender because the toes are forced to point down. However, high heels, especially stilettos, put excessive pressure on the balls of your foot, making you unstable. You’re also prone to imbalance which may lead to an injury. 

If you can’t avoid wearing high heels, at least choose heels with a wide toe base such as wedges. This type of shoe distributes your body weight and ease the pressure on your toes. 

Eat Foods That Are Good For Your Joints 

Your ankle health won’t be complete if you don’t nourish your leg joints with the right food. For general joint health, eat foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 such as nuts, seeds, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout. These foods can help prevent your joints from swelling. 

Aside from eating omega-3-rich foods, eat foods that have antioxidant properties, like fruits and vegetables.And incorporate foods that are also rich in protein such as poultry, fish, and beans. Protein is essential for tissue building and repair. There is also the option of supplementing with glucosamine which has no side effects (unless you're allergic to shellfish) and many people swear by.


If you are truly aiming for a fit and healthy body, make sure that you are paying attention to every structure of your body including your ankles. Neglecting ankle health can put you at risk of ankle injuries, which can sideline your fitness routine more than you know.

I hope you enjoyed this article about tips to improve your ankle health on a budget.

Interested in more articles about frugal sports medicine? 

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