If you like to get outdoors and hike, this might be the best time of the year to do it. Temperatures are dropping ever so slightly, and the fall colors are approaching quickly.
Of course, there are inherent risks in hiking, much like any other activity. There are the ticks of course, but you also want to be thinking about your ankles. Unstable ground, even on trails, can expose the joint to awkward movement and injury.
Warming up your entire body is a good idea before a hike, but make sure you don’t forget about your ankles. Warm them up by doing some rotations to get some blood to the area. After that, sit down for a moment and loop a towel around the bottom of your foot. Pull it toward you until you feel some gentle tension in the ankle and hold it for 10 seconds.
Next, sit with your legs straight out in front of you and turn your feet, at the ankle, inward as far as possible. Afterward, do a similar motion but turn it outwards. When you’re finished that, you can even try to spell the alphabet with your toes.
When your ankles are warmed up, you’ll want to slide your feet into an appropriate pair of footwear.
You’re going to want shoes that can handle the terrain you’re about to set forth on. Getting footwear with deep treads and anti-slip technology is the best option. Ankle support is also recommended, so make sure they fit properly.
Reducing the risk for an ankle sprain goes further than what you do right before and during your hike. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight and eat a nutritious diet that keeps your bones and muscles strong.
Previous ankle injuries can also boost the risk for another one.
Lastly, consider taping your ankle if needed, for extra support.
You don’t want your enjoyment of the season to be cut short with an ankle injury. Do your best to take the proper precautions to protect your joints late this summer and into the fall.