Have you been noticing that your balance just isn’t what it used to be? Maybe it was never very good. Either way, something needs to change.
You can do exercises to improve your balance pretty much anytime, anywhere, and as often as you like.
That being said, you are going to need something sturdy nearby to hold on to if you become unsteady. When you first start out, a chair or wall is perfect.
First exercise: Stand on One Foot
This is a great one to try while waiting in lines, at the bus station, or while you watch a kung fu movie. As you get better there are tons of ways to challenge yourself with this too! To start out with though, it’s as simple as this:
- Grasp your sturdy surface (chair, desk edge, handrail, etc)
- Lift one leg off the ground carefully (we recommend lifting your weakest leg first, for safety)
- Hold this position for up to 10 seconds (if 10 seconds is too long or too short, adjust this time for your comfort—but keep it a challenge!)
- Repeat this 10 times.
- Switch legs.
- Repeat steps 1-4
As always, the number of seconds or repetitions can vary. Please be safe, but not too comfortable. You can only improve through discomfort!
Second exercise: Walking Heel-to-Toe
To start, simply find an open space (big enough for 20-30 steps) near a wall for you to walk. No need to draw that chalk line, your body will do the work for you (though, if it helps, draw a line anyway).
- Position the heel of one foot just in front of the toes of the other foot. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch.
- Look straight in front of you and pick a spot. Focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
- Take a step. Put your heel just barely in front of the toe of your other foot.
- Repeat for 20 steps.
Third Exercise: Balance Walking
This last exercise is a bit advanced, and it might bode well to stay near that wall—just in case.
- Raise arms to sides, shoulder height.
- Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
- Walk in a straight line with one foot in front of the other.
- As you walk, lift your back leg as high as you can without falling. Pause for 1 second before stepping forward.
- Repeat for 20 steps, alternating legs.
While these exercises are simple in nature, it can benefit greatly to be creative. Go ahead and hold positions for longer, lift your legs higher, or walk farther. However you improve upon these exercises is up to you, as long as you are improving yourself.
October is “Awareness Month”. Are you a senior struggling with Balance, Stability & Posture? Be aware! There is help out there for you…
One of the best things that you can do in order to increase your stability is to become stronger and to increase the amount of stamina that you have. There are plenty of exercises that can help you to take care of this; Stability for Seniors can help you learn more!