Improve Your Balance With These Simple Exercises

Improve Your Balance With These Simple Exercises

Balance is essential for leading an active and safe life as you age. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an older adult falls every second of each day in the United States. Although falling may not seem like much when we’re young, the older we get, the more serious it can be. One out of every five falls causes an injury, such as broken bones or a head injury. And even worse, nearly 32,000 deaths each year are a direct result of a fall.

This is why it’s important to have an exercise program, no matter your age, that strengthens your body, including your abdomen and leg muscles. Being mobile and strong can help to ensure your independence in your later years. In addition to getting older, other conditions, such as arthritis, migraine, vision impairment, and medication side effects, can affect your balance. Fortunately, there are simple exercises you can do on your own that can improve your balance and help prevent a fall.

Simple Balance Exercises

Be sure to discuss any falls or exercise limitations with your doctor. And always follow your doctor’s instructions for any treatment or physical therapy. These exercises to improve your balance are suitable for everyone, regardless of your exercise level. You can modify the poses as necessary. Try to do each exercise as much as possible to improve balance and strength.

Rock the Boat

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Lift your arms and extend them out to the sides.
  3. Lift your left foot off the floor and bend your knee to bring your heel toward your bottom.
  4. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
  5. Then do the opposite side.
  6. Do each side 3 times.

Tree Pose

  1. From standing, shift your weight onto your right foot.
  2. Position your left foot to the side with your heel lifted, or place the sole of your foot against your ankle, shin, or thigh.
  3. Place your hands in any comfortable position.
  4. Hold for up to 1 minute.
  5. Then do the opposite side.

*When doing this exercise, try to avoid placing your foot on your knee.

Tightrope Walk

  1. Lift your arms and extend them out to the sides.
  2. Walk in a straight line while focusing on a fixed point in the distance.
  3. Each time you raise your foot, pause for 2 to 3 seconds.
  4. Take 20 to 30 steps.

Over-the-Shoulder Walks

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart at one end of a hallway or room.
  2. From here, look behind you over one shoulder.
  3. Maintaining this gaze, take 4 to 5 steps forward.
  4. Then, look over your other shoulder, and take 4 to 5 more steps forward.
  5. Perform 5 repetitions on each side.

*If you need to, hold onto a wall for balance.

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