Harvard Health Letter

Maintaining independence: Don't overlook foot and ankle health

Foot and ankle health are crucial to maintaining mobility and independence. Weight-bearing exercise such as walking can make bones stronger and improve stability. Stretching the hamstrings, Achilles’ tendons, and calf muscles will keep muscles and tendons flexible and better able to do their job. Weight loss, if necessary, can reduce the strain and stress on the joint. Quitting smoking will increase oxygen delivery to the tissues of the feet and toes. Finally, shoes should be wide enough to accommodate the toes, with good arch support for people with flat feet.
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