Your Ankles and the Beach – Active Summer Tips
One of the many advantages of living on the Gold Coast is the easy access to the sun soaked beaches – especially during summer time! But how confident are you when you’re juggling the kids, the towels, the tent and your essential sunscreen that you’re not going to stumble and ‘roll’ an ankle on that piping hot soft sand on your way to the refreshing water?
Ankle stability is an essential component of balance on all surfaces. We use a combination of inherent ligament stability on the inside and outside of our ankles and dynamic muscle work from a combination of foot muscles and the ‘fibularis’ muscle group on the outside of the calf to maintain good balance. The more unstable to surface, the harder these structures have to work to keep us upright and the higher the risk that you might sustain an injury.
Here is the good news!
Those beautiful days at the beach can also be used as a training tool to improve your balance skills – whether you have the balance of an elite gymnast or a new born giraffe! Here are a couple of easy ideas to try:
- Walking – 10 steps eyes open, 10 steps looking at the sky or eyes closed, repeat 3-5 times
- Walking backwards – small steps backwards for 10-15m, rest and repeat 3 times
- Single leg balance – stand near a solid object for stability if you need it, try to balance on one leg for 20-30 seconds without having to hold on, repeat 2 times on each leg
Please ensure that with any of these exercises you have a clear runway! You can also make these exercises easier or harder depending on how soft the sand is – if your toes feel the water, that’s the easier version.
If you do have a history of ankle injuries, or are currently recovering and rehabilitating from an injury, please check with one of our physiotherapists that these are the right options for you.
Ferry Rd Physio