Ankle strength for hiking

Why strong ankles are important

On a recent vacation to campout and hike in Palo Duro Canyon In the Panhandle of Texas I became aware of the importance of having strong functional ankles. We don’t think much about having strong ankles and how they actually support us and help keep us from falling. I found that my ankles are very integral in my being able to stay vertical while hiking up and down the Canyon. We don’t think much about our ankles in our daily lives walking around on Pavement and concrete and the hard floors of our home. I wondered what can we do to help exercise our muscles in our ankles and lower legs. As a massage therapist, all muscles are important and as we get older muscle tone and functionality is especially important in keeping us active and healthy.

Where do we usually walk

I walk most days for about 3 miles. Living in Dallas, that is usually on sidewalks or streets. While I get some cardio benefit and some weight bearing exercise while walking, my ankles are not putting out a lot of effort to do the walk. Unlike hiking up and down the mountain in rocky terrain, my ankles have a smooth go of it in general.

How can I strengthen my ankles

All this got me to thinking about how to take care of my ankles better. As you can see in this picture, I show three different types of terrain . There is grass, there’s pavement and there are stones in the landscaping. When I walk on the pavement I’m not getting much effort out of my ankles. When I walk on the grass I get a little more engagement in the muscles of the ankle and calf. And when I walk on the stones I really get a workout for my ankles and lower legs. The stones are a good way to mimic the rough terrain of Palo Duro Canyon and engage my ankles and calves in the effort .

My encouragement to my massage clients and anyone else who is walking and working to develop strength and stability is to walk on grass as much as possible and, when the opportunity presents itself, walk on some rough terrain such as these landscaping stones. Go slowly and carefully and engaging those muscles will pay off greatly in the future .

Other recommendations

I will also point out that in this heat we are currently experiencing it is very important to stay hydrated . Oftentimes water is not enough to keep us hydrated. Perspiration and breath expiration cause us to lose a lot of fluids as well as electrolytes from our bodies. Whether I’m hiking in Palo Duro Canyon, working in the backyard or taking my daily walk I always use a hydration drink .

My drink of choice is Shaklee Performance . There is a low calorie option as well as the regular.


So keep up your walking and exercise regime, do it smartly and stay hydrated.

Also, here are some more tips for having a healthy hike, especially if you experience muscle spasms or cramps.

Remedy for Muscle Spasms and Cramps

I have a massage client in his mid-sixties.  He loves to swim at the gym.  He often complains of cramps or muscle spasms.  What most people do not realize is that you can sweat in the winter. You do sweat even when you are swimming.  Sweating can cause your electrolyte balance to be effected.

Low Calorie Electrolyte Drink for Muscle Spasms and CrampsI gave him a packet of Shaklee’s Performance Low Calorie Electrolyte Drink. I instructed him to pour it into a bottle of water before going to the gym to swim. Voila!  No cramping!  No cramping means better workouts and probably more workouts.

Working out, especially weight-bearing exercise is increasingly important as we age.  Muscle is lost each year after age 40. So being able to continue to be active and working out is crucial for long-term health and mobility. When muscle spasms or cramps occur, the motivation to work out becomes less and less.

That is why it is important to maintain good nutrition to fuel the workouts and to recover and rebuild muscle after the workouts.  As they say, “you don’t move it, you lose it.”   And they say that “motion is lotion.”  Keep moving.

Joint disease, joint movement improved with exercise for muscle strength and the healthiest foods to help anti-inflammatory

Achy and swollen knees.  Stiff fingers.  Reduced, difficult flexibility.  These could all be signs and symptoms of arthritis, a joint disease. In fact, arthritis affects one out of every five adults living in the U.S.  One in three adults report that arthritis limits their ability to work. If current trends continue, an estimated 67 million people will have arthritis within the next 20 years.

Of the more than 100 types of arthritis, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, usually comes with age. Cartilage (the cushioning material between joints) breaks down, leading to joint pain and stiffness. Most affected joints are those in our fingers, knees, spine, and hips. It also can occur after an injury to a joint as in a young soccer player who injures a knee could develop arthritis down the road, some 10 to 15 years later.

 Rheumatoid arthritis is believed to be a systemic inflammatory disease and can develop at any age. It can

►       show up in many different joints of the body

►       leads to the deterioration of cartilage and bone

►       can cause joint deformity, pain, swelling, and redness.

Although the exact cause is unknown, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a faulty immune response may be involved.

There’s plenty you can do now to prevent arthritis, protect your joints, or improve your symptoms if you already have arthritis. Talk to your doctor to determine the best course of action.

If you’re overweight, weight loss should be your next step!  Losing as few as 11 pounds can reduce the risk of getting osteoarthritis by 50%.

Being more active sounds counterintuitive, but moving more can actually keep your joint movement better, help with weight control, and maintain muscle strength. Also, do exercise for muscle strength.

What you eat or don’t eat can make a difference, too. Some of the healthiest foods that help to lower inflammation include:

►       Fish and walnuts.

►       Olive oil.

►       Red wine and dark chocolate.

►       Turmeric.

►       Tart cherries.

Joint movement

Lastly, try natural alternatives. Studies show that long-term use of glucosamine helps maintain healthy cartilage and may even reduce the need for knee-replacement surgery in people with osteoarthritis. Results from a clinical study suggest the anti-inflammatory activity of Boswellia serrata extract reduces joint pain and stiffness, while fish oil supplements also have been shown to help fight inflammation.


Shaklee Distributor in Dallas, Dallas Health Helpers, talks about joint pain relief.

Shaklee Distributor in Dallas, Dallas Health Helpers, talks about joint pain relief.

Many people experience joint pain.  This pain may come from arthritis, a simple structural abnormality, over use or repetitive use.  There are many reasons for joint pain. One source that is prevalent is being over weight or obese.

Obviously, the first step is to get to a recommended body weight.  That will take much pressure off the hip, knee and ankle joints. Take advantage of this pain-reliever that will offer many other benefits.

With joint pain, it is also important to keep moving.  Often, those with joint pain will tend to remain as immobile as possible to avoid aggravating their condition or for fear of causing more pain.  In general, keeping a joint functioning will help to keep it mobility and range of motion.  The old adage that if you don’t move it you lose it has some merit.

Find an exercise that you like and can easily do regularly.  With joint pain, one should avoid high impact activities.  Generally, easy movements done regularly will help to get good circulation to the tissue surrounding the joints, bringing nutrition and oxygen to them and helping to remove toxins and metabolic waste products.

One with joint pain should also avoid inflammatory foods.  Things such as desserts, red meats and processed foods can add to inflammation, causing more pain.

Avoiding stress can also help to lower inflammation.

Many people have begun to use joint pain preparations that include glucosamine and chondroitin.  However, recent studies have proved that chondroitin is actually counterproductive to building health of the joint.  It actually inhibits the absorption of glucosamine.  When looking for a joint product, make certain is does not contain chondroitin.

Shaklee Corporation produces a product called Advanced Joint Health Complex.  This product works in a matter of days and it works to heal the tissues around the joint, not just alleviate pain.  They also offer a money back guarantee.  Try it here.

Dallas Health Helpers, Shaklee Distributor in Dallas is about being healthy without drugs or synthetics. Call 214.252.9596 or email us to learn more about vitality and health.

Dallas Health Helpers, Shaklee Distributor in Dallas, asks “Where do you get your exercise?”

Dallas Health Helpers, Shaklee Distributor in Dallas, asks “Where do you get your exercise?”

It is common knowledge that we need to move our bodies and get plenty of exercise.  To a lot of people this is only viewed as buying expensive workout clothes and gear, paying a large gym membership fee or taking a lot of time out of their day.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  With a little creativity and forethought, one can realize that more of his daily, hum-drum activities can and already do include exercise.

Many people don’t drink enough water because it may require extra trips to the restroom.  Think of it this way:  That 5 minute break from your desk to the toilet involves standing (weight bearing), stretching (range of motion) and walking (circulation).

I had a friend state that she didn’t want glass shower doors because she didn’t want to have to squeegie them each time the shower is used.  That arm lifting and squatting is great exercise.

There is also the “use the stairs” and “park further away” ideas to help increase your movement during the day.  The bottom line is to reverse your thinking about those boring daily chores and turn them into “micro workouts“.

So take good care of your body and your mental state. Give yourself credit for all the “moving and shaking” that you do without realizing it.

Be well.Perform well. Stay well.

Dallas Health Helpers, Shaklee Distributor in Dallas is about being healthy without drugs or synthetics. Call 214   252   9596 or email us to learn more about vitality and health.