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Balance

Exercises That Help Improve Balance

Image of an elephant balanced on a bubble to support the text on improving balance
Balance is a use it or lose it skill

Introduction Balance Exercises

Exercises That Help Improve Balance. Most of us rarely think about the importance of our body’s ability to maintain balance. But, as we age, the key to avoiding falls and subsequent injury, is by focusing on improving our static (stationary). And also dynamic (moving) balance skills.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that falls have reached an epidemic level. Also citing that 30 per cent of people ages 65 to 80. And 50 per cent of those over 80 will experience a fall each year. In addition, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury and fractures in older adults.

Exercises That Help Improve Balance. The upside to these dire statistics is that starting a program of specific exercises is developed to improve your balance. Can significantly decrease your risk of falling.

Exercises That Help Improve Balance. This series of exercises target static and dynamic balance, helping to improve strength and coordination. So then, it takes time for your body to build strength and improve balance ability. Thus, to begin start slowly with each exercise, and make sure you follow the safety tips. Therefore, work up to performing two to three repetitions of these exercises every other day.

Safety Tips Balance Exercises

  • Wear comfortable and close-fitting clothing. Avoid pants that are too long or wide at the ankles, which may cause tripping.
  • Wear shoes that have a high back collar for adequate ankle support; a firm, non-lug sole; and a heel less than one inch. Although athletic shoes work well in a gym, those with stability issues may find that the thicker flared sole can cause tripping on carpet.
  • Maintain a point of contact with a wall or stable chair when you first start the exercises or if you continue to feel unsteady.

Advanced Standing Balance

Image of the advanced stand to support the text on improving balance
The wall behind and Chair in from for support
  • In a standing position, bring your feet together and try to maintain your balance as you slowly count to 25. Try performing this exercise without a point of contact.
  • For the next level, bring one foot in front of the other, heel to toe, and hold for a count of 25. Work toward performing this exercise without a point of contact, at this stage do not try this with your eyes closed.

Side Step

Image from the rear of a side step to support the text, side step helps to improve balance
Sidestep using the wall for support
  • Stand with your feet together, and keep your knees slightly bent, not locked. Place one hand against the wall to maintain balance.
  • Slowly step to the side with one foot, and then bring the other foot to join.
  • Continue sidestepping for ten to 15 steps in each direction.
  • As you become better at this exercise, try it without a point of contact.

Modified Grapevine Walk

Image from the rear of the modified grapevine walk to support the text this balance exercise is challenging
rear view of the modified grapevine walk using the wall for support
  • Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent.
  • Cross your right foot in front of the left, continuing this pattern as you move to the left for ten to 15 steps. Repeat in the opposite direction, crossing your left foot over the right.

Flamingo Stand

Image of the flamingo stand to support the text, standing on one leg helps you balance skill to improve
Flamingo stand use support at the start
  • Stand facing a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and both hands outstretched and touching the wall.
  • Slowly raise one leg, and hold for a count of ten. Repeat with the other leg. As you improve your balance with the exercise, try it without touching the wall. To increase the difficulty, close your eyes as you hold your raised leg.

Video

In Conclusion

Your balance is a skill that needs practice. When you practice balance exercises your brain will focus on updating your balance. The more your balance improves the less chance you have of falling. A fall has the potential to take your independence or even your life. So practice should be your focus as your age increases.

Important Note *

Remember that everyone is different, and it is ultimately YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find what your body responds to. So please do your due diligence before trying anything new, including getting Medical Advice to ensure your safety and peace of mind.

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4 replies on “Exercises That Help Improve Balance”

Thank you so much, Ian, for this helpful exercise program.

Have a very joyful holiday season. See you in the new year 🎄🥂

Hi Claudette, I am happy you like the training, it is so important as we age to keep our balance skills, up to date, so many sit and let it go, and then have falls, that can take away their independence or worse, Thank you for your comment, have a merry Christmas and happy safe new year, Ian

Hi, Ian,
What a wonderful contribution to humankind. I can’t think of a better gift to us who are aging and are sometimes bewildered by changes in our physical abilities. This site is a great medicine for us, and is a cause for knowing there is help. That is so inspirational and hopeful.

Hi Mark, I am happy you are enjoying the posts I make, I am like you an older adult, but when I realised that I could fight against the ravages of age, I wanted to share it with others, so when I get feedback in comments like yours it makes it all worthwhile. Thank you for your comment, more coming in 2022.Ian

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