By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
Here are some great exercises to do before you get out of bed in the morning. They’re designed to help you start your day on steady feet and improve your balance throughout the day.
1. Move your ankles in circles, first in one direction, then the other. Point your toes down, then pull them up, flexing your ankles. With your ankles flexed, move your feett side to side.
(This exercise gets the circulation flowing and works the ankle muscles which are important in walking.)
2. Slide your heel part way up toward your buttocks, bending at the knee, and slide it back down again. Do this 2 or 3 more times, moving the heel progressively closer to the buttocks each time. Alternate a few times with both legs.
(This exercise gently lubricates your hip and knee joints and strengthens the muscles that bend your knee.)
3. With your legs straight, slide one leg out to the side then back to the center, keeping your kneecap and your toes pointing up toward the ceiling.
(This exercise strengthens the hip muscles that you need for walking.)
4. Sit up at the edge of your bed or in a chair with good posture. Make a few ankle circles, then slowly straighten your knee and hold for a few seconds. Remember to keep breathing. Then relax and repeat with each leg a few times.
(This exercise allows your body time to adjust to the upright position, gets your circulation moving, and strengthens the muscles that straighten your knees.)