If you're constantly spraining or straining one or both of your ankles, you might feel like your local podiatry clinic is a second home. Your podiatrist will be able to diagnose your exact type of ankle injury, as well as fit you with a brace or even suggest a different type of shoe that can help to reduce the risk of future injuries of the same nature. You can play a role in avoiding future strains and sprains, too, but strengthening your ankles. By adding strength to the muscles and ligaments in this region, you're less likely to suffer pain if you misstep and roll and ankle. The following is a list of some simple exercises that you can do at home to promote strength in your ankles.
Heel raises are an exercise that people commonly do to strengthen their calves, but this exercise is also useful for building stronger ankles that are less susceptible to injuries that will send you to your podiatrist. Simply stand upright and lift your heels off the ground. Hold them for a moment, and then lower them back down. Repeat this pattern several times per day. If you want to increase the challenge of the exercise, perform it on the edge of a stair; this will allow you to drop your heels past horizontal, which can further improve the exercise's efficacy.
Standing on one leg at a time also helps to strengthen your ankles. Stand in an upright position and lift one leg so you're balancing on just one foot. You can hold your arms out at your sides to provide more stability. Hold the pose as long as you're able, and then lower your raised foot and lift the foot on which you were previously standing. Don't be discouraged if you need to set your elevated foot down if your balance feels shaky. Just wait until the shakiness subsides, and then try again.
Sit on the edge of a chair and wrap a long belt under your foot so that you can hold the ends of the belt comfortably. Rotate your ankle to the left and pull against it slightly with the belt; this provides some resistance that is helpful in the strengthening process. Return to the neutral position, and then rotate the ankle to the right, again providing resistance with the belt. You can also bend the ankle up and down while providing resistance to further strengthen the ankle. Repeat on the other side.