Today’s #Goals4Arthritis will be dedicated to David Villa, Spain’s all-time leading international scorer – the goal is to strengthen your ankles. Villa is participating in the FIFA World Cup™ after missing international qualifying matches in 2013 due to arthritis in his left ankle. Villa has had a storied career, playing for Valencia, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid player, and recently signed with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, meaning fans in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal will soon be seeing this arthritis athlete in action. He will be retiring after the 2014 World Cup.
Villa starred in Spain 2-0 warm-up match victory on June 7, 2014 against El Salvador. Villa was right on target – he scored a header in the 60th minute followed by another goal in the 87th minute, increasing his personal best to 58 goals. Asked to comment on the upcoming match against the Netherlands on Friday, June 13, Villa said, “We still have days to fine-tune and work and I believe that we are prepared to start.” Read the full article here.
Like World Cup athletes who injured themselves during the game, rehabilitative and strengthening exercises is a key to recovery, and helps to prevent and manage pain. With ankle injuries being one of the most common sports injury, our #Goals4Arthritis today is to do exercises that will strengthen your ankles. Below is a an excerpt from the Globe and Mail’s “Weak Ankles? Seven easy exercises that will save you from rolling them again”:
- Standing calf raises: Lift yourself up on your toes for 15 reps. To increase the challenge, stand on one leg or hold weights.
- Heel walks: Lift the front of your foot off the floor. Balance on your heels and walk across the room.
- Hand-Foot War: Put your right hand against the outside of your right foot. Push your hand into your foot. Resist the push with your foot. Next, place your hand on the inside of your right foot and repeat the push-resist sequence. Switch and repeat with your left foot.
- Towel pulls: Place one bare foot on a towel. Grab the towel with your toes. Lift your heel, pull the towel taut, then repeat the toe grabs. Continue for the length of the towel.
Note we have included only four of the seven exercises because we believe this to be a good starting point. As you feel your ankles getting stronger, you can try the other exercises.