There’s nothing worse than going about your daily routine when your knees suddenly feel swollen and stiff. Your legs suddenly locked into your hips as they endured more pain with each step. Sound familiar?
Leg, knee, and hip pain are very common, and often, if you have one, you’ll have all three. Foot, heel, and ankle pain can disrupt your posture and lead to knee and hip pain. It really gets in the way of doing simple, everyday things like grocery shopping, cooking, and exercising.
If you have pain in your legs, knees, or hips, you should definitely see a doctor, but in the meantime, there are many exercises you can do to help relieve some of the pain and strengthen these parts of your body. Here are six things you can do in the comfort of your own home, quickly and easily.
Heel lifts: strengthen ankles and knees
Stand behind a chair or at hip level for balance. Next, bend one leg behind you and point your heel toward your butt. As you lift your leg, lift your heel on the other leg so that it is on your toes. Then place your heels on the floor. Repeat this 10-20 times on each leg.
Toes: strengthens the calves and balls of the feet
It’s exactly what it sounds like – walk faster than usual on your toes. You can walk like this for as long as you want, but first for five minutes, then for 10, etc. It helps if you multitask like walking around the house or answering emails on your phone while cleaning the house.
Toe curls: strengthen legs and toes
As the title suggests, this exercise requires you to simply curl your toes. It’s just an inward bend towards the heel of your foot. Out, in, out, in. You can play with things like towels and hairbrushes by putting your toes on the floor.
Ankle rotation: strengthens the ankle
Sit on a chair and lift one leg off the ground. Start by rotating the legs clockwise and do about 10 times. Then move counterclockwise and circle 10 times.
Resistance Band Pull: Strengthens the calf muscles
Attach resistance bands around something rigid, such as a sofa or TV stand. Then bend your knees slightly and tuck one leg under the other. At the top, slide your feet into the resistance band and slowly pull the band with your feet. Repeat 10-20 times on each leg. (It sounds a bit complicated, but it feels great on your feet and calves!)
Ball Steps: Strengthens the balls of the feet
Grab a tennis or softball and place it under your feet (tip: sitting may make this easier). Push your feet on the ball and put all your weight on it. Move your feet for a semi-self massage.
These exercises are very easy, but they are great for your lower body! Which one will you try first?