Let's get those knees & ankles summer ready

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="400"]DonJoy Reaction Web Knee Brace Gray DonJoy Reaction Web Knee Brace[/caption]

Oh how we love summer! The shining sun is just calling you to be outside. You live an active life and let's face it, summer is made for YOU! Don't let any aches or pains hinder your activities this summer. Weak knees and ankles especially can wreak havoc on your body, your daily fitness routine and/or activities. An annoying pain is nothing to overlook; our body feels pain for a reason, and it's trying to tell you something. Whether it is a strain, sprain, or even a tear, injuries like these can lead to a tremendous amount of discomfort and a decrease in physical mobility. No matter how tedious it may feel, it is imperative to spend those extra minutes strengthening and stretching your joints before any physical activity, especially your workout routine. It is just as important to wear the proper braces or supports, like our DonJoy Reaction Knee Brace.

Below are some important and quick stretches that will strengthen your ankles and knees without causing any discomfort and will prepare you to be at your best this summer:

Remember to consult with your medical professional before performing any physical activity.

Warm Up: No matter if you're on a time crunch or simply don't feel like it, it is extremely important to warm up in order to keep your body and joints operating properly. We're not talking about a full 30 minutes out of your routine, but rather a brief ten minute, slow pace cycle on a bike, a brisk walk, or any other low intensity exercise for a 5-10 minute period.

Ankle Stretches: A wonderful and effective ankle stretch won't take you much time at all. Sit on the floor with your left leg extended and slightly elevated (use your hands or even a chair to support your leg weight, if needed). Carefully rotate your foot clockwise 5-10 times, then again counterclockwise. Repeat on your right leg. Finish up sitting on the floor with both legs extended straight. Point your toes forward and then backward as far as you can comfortably. Repeat at least 10 times.

Knee Stretches: When stretching the knee, you want to stretch the muscles that surround the knee, which allows them to support the movement of your joint. Begin by stretching your quadriceps (front of your thigh): stand up straight and hold onto a table, chair, or the wall for necessary support. Bend your left knee while grabbing your ankle or foot with one hand; slowly and steadily pull your knee back as far as it can go without straining or causing discomfort. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with your right leg. Follow up by stretching your hamstrings (back of your thigh): sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you and bend forward at the waist to touch your toes (or as far as you can go). Hold for 10 seconds and then repeat 5-10 more times, extending the stretch a little each time (if possible).

With these easy stretches and your DonJoy Reaction Knee Brace, you're all set to go outside and enjoy that fresh summer air!