Exercises that Help with Balance
If you haven’t been challenging it recently, the chances are your balance isn’t as strong as it once was. The good news is that by adding balance exercises today, your body will soon respond, and your balance will improve. As with any exercise program, take advice from a professional fitness instructor or physical therapist and start easy. Don’t put yourself at risk of injury. The exercises recommended on this website are not suitable for everyone. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
Strengthen your lower body with the “Chair Sit to Stand”
(this exercise is recommended by the CDC)
Start sitting on a dining room chair (or similar firm chair)
Place your feet flat on the floor
Stand without using your arms to push up
If you need to use your arms, try to use them as little as possible, and work towards not using them at all
Take a moment to breathe and steady yourself while standing
Sit back down slowly (don’t flop into the chair, control your movement)
Repeat 10-15 times
If you can’t do 10 to start with, do as many as you can and then rest. Try to do one more the next day
If you suffer from dizziness or light-headedness when standing, this is not a recommended exercise. As with all exercise, you should speak with your doctor first before exerting yourself, and use common sense about what is safe for you to accomplish.
Learn Tai Chi
This ancient practice significantly improved balance, as numerous studies on fall prevention interventions have shown. If you don’t have access to a class or teacher near you, taichisystem.com offers a daily video series to teach you the basics.
Use this Book as an Exercise Guide
Just beginning? Leading physical therapist and healthy aging advocate Bill Case has put together a book to take you through some essential exercises to improve posture and balance (click on the image to find out more or to buy on Amazon via affiliate link).
Use this e-book from the National Institute on Aging
The US government’s Go4Life program includes pictures and instructions for some good exercises for balance. Tip: you can download them onto a tablet for ease of reference. Always check with your doctor before trying any new exercise (click on the image to find out more).
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