People with diabetes are at risk for an
amputation. Exercise in people with diabetes has multiple benefits, such as
decreasing blood pressure, controlling glucose levels, decreasing your risk of
foot ulcers, weight loss, and more.
Specifically, foot and ankle exercises
have shown significant improvement in decreasing joint stiffness and your
chance of amputation. These exercises can also increase your mobility and your
chance for faster healing foot ulcer, according to the Lower Extremity Review.
Below are some exercises you can do for
your lower extremities from the Lower Extremity Review:
- The Alphabet
- Sit with your back straight and on the edge of your chair. Lift your right leg up and spell the alphabet with your right foot. Repeat with your left foot. Start by spelling the alphabet once with each foot.
- Toe Taps
- Sit on the edge of your seat and remove your shoes. Slowly raise your toes on your right foot, keeping your heel to the ground. Next, do the same with your left foot. Continue while alternating each foot for about one minute.
- Heel Taps
- These are opposite of toe taps. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair and rock your feet forward onto your toes while raising your heels. You can do this with both feet at the same time or alternating for about one minute each foot.
- Toes lifts
- Sit on the edge of your seat with your back straight and shoes off. Keep your feet flat to the ground and lift the big toe up, followed by the little ones one-by-one for approximately one minute.
- Calf Stretch
- Stand behind your chair and place both hands on the chair. Step forward with your right leg keeping your left leg straight- you should be feeling your calves stretching. Hold for one minute then switch legs.
these exercises 3 times a week and you will start to see improvements in joint
pain and circulation, according to a study done by the US National Library of
Medicine. Always remember to consult
your doctor before trying any new exercise.