Any good band knows all of its members need to practice to work best together. No matter which act you might catch during the Blues, Berries, & Jam series on The New Haven Green, for example, having a group where only one instrument knows their routine would be a disaster! It’s much the same with our bodies. Focusing only on certain muscles is all right, but not the optimal means of achieving top health. Other parts are in the group too, and strengthening tendons and ligaments is also important.
Your diet plays an important role in your body’s ability to create connective tissue and strengthen your tendons and ligaments. Collagen is the substance that keeps tissues strong, and there are several main players in its production. Protein, vitamin C, and manganese are high on the list, but calcium and copper are also found in very small amounts as well.
The good news is that you really don’t have to overdose on any of these nutrients. If you’re eating lean meats, eggs, dairy products, fruits, and dark leafy greens in a well-rounded diet, your intake should be fine. Vegetarians can naturally substitute beans and soy as sources of protein, too.
Certain exercises can also help strengthen your tendons and ligaments more directly. A couple examples include:
Toe Flexion – Stand or sit with feet flat against the floor. Press the toes downward into the floor while keeping them straight. Hold, also keeping ankles still, for 4 seconds (or longer, if able), repeating up to 10 times.
Standing Calf Raises – Standing on a sturdy low step or stool, balance on the balls of the feet. Lower the heels slowly, simultaneously, then rise up onto tiptoes. Repeat 10 times, gradually adding more repetitions as strength increases.If you would like help finding the best means to strengthening tendons and ligaments that meet your needs, contact us here at Family Foot Care & Surgery. Our two offices are a phone call away at (203) 876-7736 for Milford or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.