Sprained ankles are among the most common sports injuries. In fact, the NYT estimates that around eight million people sprain one of their ankles yearly. Fortunately, a one-minute balance exercise can help reduce your chance of injury and repair your ankles.
Photo by genewolf.
The Times' Well blog offers a simple balancing hack to help get and keep your ankles in good shape. Simply put: "Stand on one leg. Try not to wobble. Hold for a minute. Repeat."
How does balance training help eliminate ankle sprains?
When you damage the ligament, "you damage the neuro-receptors as well. Your brain no longer receives reliable signals" from the ankle about how your ankle and foot are positioned in relation to the ground. Your proprioception - your sense of your body's position in space - is impaired. You're less stable and more prone to falling over and re-injuring yourself.
More specifically, The Times recommends standing "sturdily" for one minute on one leg while crossing your arms over your chest. If that's too easy, close your eyes, hop, or both. And if that's still too easy? Place a pillow underneath yourself to create an unstable surface, or try standing on one leg while brushing your teeth. "It may sound ridiculous," Professor Jay Hertel tells The Times, "but if you do that for two or three minutes a day, you're working your balance really well."
Check out the above video for some more sample exercises, then let us know what you think about the remedies offered.
How to Fix Bad Ankles [Well Blog]