Exercise and Mobility for Seniors: Keep Your Feet Functional as You Age

As we get older, it has become more imperative for us to learn how to take care of our health and mobility. Our feet are a vital factor that needs preventive care and maintenance in order to remain agile and mobile in our older years. This is possible with a series of exercises as well as the help and guidance of a podiatrist.

Whether you’re a senior looking to improve your foot health and quality of life or a caregiver helping your loved ones, staying active is a lifelong commitment that can make all the difference in helping you maintain functional feet throughout your life. Get to know these exercises below.

Importance of Foot Health in Seniors

Our feet remain one of the strongest foundations of the body. They bear the weight of our bodies, as well as other things we carry on a daily basis, from our bags, shoes, and many others. As such, this makes them susceptible to wear and tear as we age, leading to various foot-related conditions like increased risk for falls, reduced mobility, and arthritis, to name a few.

Medical professionals like a foot doctor can help older individuals equip themselves with the tools and knowledge they need to maintain optimal foot health. Not only can these professionals offer valuable insights, but they can also diagnose and treat foot concerns and abnormalities, helping individuals pursue a happy and healthy life.

Exercise to Keep Your Feet Agile

  • Ankle Circles

One of the best foot exercises you can do without needing additional equipment is ankle circles. The goal of this particular exercise is to help you maintain joint mobility as well as reduce the stiffness of your feet and ankles.

To start, lift one foot off the ground and rotate your ankle in a clockwise position. Do this for 10 seconds. Then, do the action counterclockwise. Repeat the same aforementioned actions for your other foot.

  • Heel Raises

Heel raises, on the other hand, are made to strengthen your calf muscles. This exercise is also geared towards maintaining your balance.

To do this, stand behind a chair or a table and use its backrest or handles for support. Then, raise your heels off the ground as high as you can, before slowly lowering them back down.

  • Toe Taps

Similar to ankle circles, toe taps work by improving flexibility and blood circulation in your toes. To execute this, start by sitting on a comfortable chair. With your feet flat on the floor and your heels firmly on the ground, slowly lift your toes and tap it back down.

Mobility Exercises That Help

  • Yoga

Yoga is a type of exercise that seeks to promote whole-body flexibility. At the same time, it also acts as a form of strength training and a practice for balance.

Many yoga exercises focus not just on breathing and mindfulness, but also on foot and ankle stability. This can benefit older individuals who like to maintain their mobility.

  • Walking

One of the most effective ways to keep your feet functional over time is simply by walking. Not to mention, it also acts as a form of cardio. It is important to note, however, that opting for the right footwear is essential to provide ample cushioning and support to your feet.

  • Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s gentle on the joints yet still provides a full-body workout. Staying buoyant on the water reduces the stress on your feet, ideal for seniors who commonly experience pain and inflammation.

The Bottom Line

Before starting out any routine or exercise, it’s best to consult your podiatrist, more so when you have existing foot conditions. With these tips and the guidance of these professionals, you can take the right steps toward maintaining your foot health and mobility in an optimal manner.

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