Are you looking for ways to maintain or increase your balance? Strength and balance exercises play an important role in reducing your risk of falling. Below are some gentle exercises and activities you can do to improve strength, balance, flexibility and coordination.
1. Walking is a low-impact exercise and has many health benefits. It is recommended to walk 30 minutes a day, three times per week. Use a walker or cane if needed.
2. Yoga is a gentle exercise that uses specific body movements to strengthen your muscles, while increasing balance and stability.
3. Tai Chi originates from China. It is similar to yoga and involves slow, meditative movements.
4. Water aerobics is a type of resistance exercise that generally takes place in waist-deep water in a swimming pool.
1. Stand on One Foot
- Grab a sturdy object you can grip for balance.
- Stand on one foot.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Repeat 10 times with the other leg.
2. Walk Heel to Toe
- Put your right foot in front of your left foot. The heel of your right foot should be touching the toes of your left foot.
- Then place your left foot in front of your right, putting your weight on your heel.
- After, shift your weight to your toes.
- Walk this way for 20 steps.
3. Back Leg Raises
- Grab a sturdy object you can grip for balance, like a chair.
- Slowly lift your right leg straight back. Do not bend your knees or point your toes.
- Stay in that position for one second, and then bring your leg back down.
- Repeat this 10-15 times per leg.
4. Side Leg Raises
- Stand behind a chair with your feet slightly apart.
- Slowly lift your right leg to the side.
- Keep toe facing forward and your back straight.
- Stay in that position for one second, and then lower your right leg down slowly.
- Repeat this exercise ten to 15 times per leg.
“Walk daily. Involve yourself in exercises such as water aerobics, yoga, and balance exercises. This will help keep you young, strong and fit for life.” Dianne Doane-Bustetter, ARNP-BC, CWCN at Belleview Care Center