Fitness
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I am so confused as to why my ankles are so weak. I can't run because they feel like they are about to break, I can't jump for the fear of the pain when I land, even going down stairs is really difficult. Does anyone have any idea why my ankles are so weak? I'm young, only 21... I am obese, I'm 5'5" and 225lbs, but that shouldn't stop a person from being able to go down the stairs because of their ankles. I don't eat dairy so do you think it's maybe lack of calcium? or?

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I am by no means an expert but just to throw it out there (experts feel free to correct me)...maybe you should work on building strength in your leg muscles (leg presses, squats, lunges etc.) first before attempting to run. I used to feel my ankles were weak as well when I first started doing a lot of cardio, but it really doesn't bother me anymore.

It's about form and sneakers. You need to find out if you're an overpronator or not and get fitted for a really good pair of running shoes. After that, a lot of it is will. I used to think I couldn't run because I had weak ankles, but I now consider myself a real runner... and my ankles are ok. I think that nutrient wise you're probably fine, though you should take calcium if you don't eat dairy. Some people have weaker ankles - my family included - but if you get sneakers with the right support, you can run.

Not sure if it was just for ankle per se but my physical therapist would have me do raises.  Standing on something (like a step) with your toes/front of the foot on it and the back hanging off and then lowering and raising... rinse repeat.  Did help me out.

Eh, skip the running for now. Running while more than 50-75lbs overweight has a statistically unacceptably high injury rate for people who haven't strength-trained to prepare their bodies for the pounding that running entails.

 It's not automatic that you'll get injuried, but in my book the risk is unacceptably high when it's preventable through doing some simple strength training plus a walk/run program once you've progressed far enough in the strength training and weight loss side of things to be out of the danger zone. 

 I'm not anti-running, I'm anti-injury. Because bone spurs and joint arthritis in the ankle sucks worse than waiting a few months until you've done adequate prep work to be able to run injury-free for the rest of your life.

For me, I had "weak" ankles most of my life.  I would step a little wrong and twist the ankle.  What has helped me is exercise, especially strengthening my leg muscles and my core muscles.  Exercise has bettered my balance, and the stronger muscles help support my bones.  Strengthening muscles also helps prevent bone loss.

For someone like us who is obese, I really think weight training combined with low impact exercise like walking or swimming is best.  At least, that is what is working for me.  I am building muscle, which in turn increases my metabolism, increases my coordination, and keeps me from losing bone mass and muscle while I lose weight, and the walking, swimming and other cardio strengthens my heart (don't get me wrong, my heart rate jumps when I lift weights too!)

Since you don't eat dairy, you do need to make sure you are getting enough calcium in other places - some kinds of vegetables, supplements, etc. 

I had "weak" ankles all my life until I started running.  A couple severe sprains as a child led to chronic ankle sprains (90% of the time, from rolling an ankle).  I'd sprain an ankle several times a year, usually once severe enough that I would have to take off work to stay completely off of it.  But I haven't sprained an ankle even ONCE since I started running 15 months ago.  I have rolled my right ankle a little, once or twice, but it didn't sprain.

I'm not saying to go out and run right away.  I was only about 30 pounds overweight when I started running, and I had been exercising with bike and elliptical for almost a year before that, which probably helped my ankles, too.  But I am saying, don't let weak ankles stop you from running.  Strengthen them, along with everything else, and then running will help even more, both in strengthening the muscles in your ankles, but also in strengthening your bones themselves.  Running decreases your risk of osteoporosis later in life, but biking, elliptical, etc do not--not enough impact.  To me, that's a HUGE plus for running, besides just that I LIKE it better. 

 

I agree with the people advocating strengthening your leg muscles before starting to run.  The raises are good, but if you require more stability...stand with your legs apart and pointed out a little bit (like a sumo wrestler), squat down as far as you can (holding your arms out in front of you helps with balance), then raise out of the squat and stand on your tip toes.  Do this slowly, holding the squat and tiptoe for 5 sec each (that's what I do...you can go 2sec if it's easier and work your way up).  This should improve your hip flexors, glutes, hams, calves and ankle strength. Oh, and I advise starting out with walking rather than jogging or running.  Edward Muybridge took photographs of people/animals running and when you see the photographic breakdowns, there is a split second of being airborne ....coming down can be painful.  While walking you should always be touching the ground...less impact. ;)

Also, yeah you need to get calcium somehow.  If it doesn't get any better from taking everybody's advice, see a doctor.  There might be damage to your bones or something.

Google "Ankle Strengthening Exercises."  ABout.com has some info, as well as other sports rehab sites.

There are simple things you can do to strengthen ankles, without any equipment at all.  Or using a Bosu ball can help, wobble boards (I've used the Bosu ball, but not the wobble board) or specific exercises using bands. 

I also have weak ankles, and sprained my R ankle on Mothers Day.  I am still wearing my aircast for all walking/exercising activities, and have an apt. made with an orthopedic doctor who specializes in ankles, as I am not sure it doesnt need some therapy or something.  You might consider seeing an "ankle specialist," too.

You definitely dont want to injure it!  So do what you can to continue to use your ankles (rather crucial for fitness!) without injuring them. 

I know this might be a little out there, but maybe you have a stress fracture?  I have a friend (with high pain tolerance) who went for weeks and weeks without knowing she had a stress fracture, and then at the doctor she found out.  I don't know, just an idea. 

Drink apple cider vinegar. 2 Tbs, 2 X's per day plus glass of water each time. In three days start to notice lack of pain.

Tjlo

I have notoriously wobbly ankles that used to pop and crackle and hurt. One thing that REALLY helped me strengthen them was swimming with flippers on. No kidding! Most pools will have some on deck to use for free. Try it! Not only is it kind of empowering because it makes you go faster, feeling like you're superhuman, but it really makes your ankles stronger and more flexible.

Stop wearing high heals ever, and go barefoot as often as possible.

I totally disagree with going barefoot as often as possible.  Doing that gave me plantar fasciitus - and that is horrible, and takes a long time to go away.  That will totally keep you from any exercise.  If in doubt, google plantar fasciitus.

At home, I wear my New Balance "slides" (mine are the 811, but there are others) which are terrific on my feet, and give me the support my feet/arches need. 

I totally agree on the high heels, though!

 

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