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How to protect your ankles


Physical activity always comes with risks. And foot and ankle injuries are some of the most common. Ankle problems bring with them a range of symptoms, such as swelling and stiffness. But there are lots of simple things you can do to keep your ankles in tip-top shape. Stay on your feet with our preventative tips…

What causes ankle problems?

Illustration of the different kind of ankle problems

Unfortunately, ankle concerns — such as sprains and tears — are fairly common. They can be caused by a range of things, but mainly by overuse or accidents like tripping or twisting your ankle.

How to keep your ankles healthy

Wear the right shoes

When it comes to healthy ankles, the right footwear is essential. You should always opt for sports-specific trainers that can absorb impacts and give proper support to your ankles. A quality pair of trainers can cushion your feet, offer arch support and help to prevent injuries.

Plus, it’s important to always buy the right size and fit for you. We also recommend replacing your shoes after you notice any major signs of wear and tear. Some experts suggest swapping out trainers every 400 to 500 miles or after 100 hours of intense activity –such as tennis, dance or basketball.

Watch where you walk

The ground you run and walk on can seriously affect your joints. Your joints are subjected to impact shocks from the floor with every stride. Uneven surfaces and harsh inclines can also put a huge strain on your joints. Find out how different surfaces affect your joints here.

Looking for the best surface to run or train on? Rubber running tracks are possibly the best. They cause less stress to your joints than asphalt and tarmac as they’re much softer and more even. Plus, the lack of an incline is ideal for your ankles.

Rest when needed

You know your body best, and overdoing it won’t help your joints. If anything feels off – and especially if there’s any pain – stop exercising and take a break. When you go to work out again, try modifying your regime or switching up the footwear to see if this helps.

Maintain a healthy weight

This will help to lighten the load on your ankles (as well as your knees, hips and backs). Plus, it will reduce the risk of joint damage and joint stiffness.

Eating healthily will improve your overall joint health. Lean proteins help to build muscle strength. Bone health can be improved with calcium-rich foods. And food that’s rich in Omega 3s – such as mackerel and salmon – can help to lower inflammation in the joints.  

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iMOVE Active by YuMOVE supports healthy, flexible joints for an everyday active lifestyle. It includes ingredients that are proven to support healthy joints, such as our unique ActivEase® Green Lipped Mussel.

What exercises help to strengthen the ankles?

Exercise is key to muscle strengthening. Before doing any of these exercises, make sure you warm up properly. A 10-minute stretch will do the trick. A light jog (or jogging on the spot) will also help loosen your muscles.

The best exercise to do is something that doesn’t aggravate your joints – such as walking, cycling or swimming. In fact, swimming is one of the best exercises for joint stiffness.

Or, if you want to do a quick workout at home, here are a few of our favourite at-home exercises for healthy ankles:

Ankle circles

  1. Sit on the ground with your legs bent in front of you
  2. Cross one leg over the other (you may need to lean back onto your hands for support)
  3. Perform slow circles with the ankle that's raised
  4. Repeat 15 times

Tip: make sure to alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise to achieve the most benefit.

The ankle alphabet

  1. Lie down on the floor (or on your bed) with your legs bent in front of you
  2. Cross one leg over the other
  3. Spell out the alphabet with one foot
  4. Repeat twice for each ankle

Calf raises

This exercise teaches your ankles to have control when your body shifts weight:

  1. Stand with your feet roughly hip-width apart
  2. Shift your weight onto your toes
  3. Slowly lift your heels off the ground
  4. Repeat 10 times

Tip: hold onto a sink or counter for stability.

Shin raises

These are similar to calf raises, but you raise your toes off the ground instead of your heels.

  1. Stand with your feet roughly hip-width apart
  2. Shift your weight onto your heels
  3. Slowly lift your toes off the ground
  4. Repeat 10 times

Tip: keep your ankles in a neutral position to prevent them from rolling out.


Walking is arguably the best exercise for cardiovascular health. So, why not go for a stroll today?

Ankle injuries

Illustration of a sprained ankle

Accidents happen, and while some of them can be minor, others need some extra care. You should always seek the advice of a healthcare professional if you notice any of the below:

  • Your ankle is misshapen
  • Your calf is hot, swollen and tender
  • You’re struggling to put weight on your leg
  • The levels of discomfort are not decreasing, or are getting worse

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