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Exercises for improving your balance

These exercises can help you with balance. You can start by holding on with both hands. When that gets easy, hold on with just one hand. Then hold on with just two fingers of one hand. Soon you may be able to do each exercise without holding on with either hand. But it is important that you only try this when you feel that the way you are doing it now has become too easy.

The first exercise has 4 steps. Remember to relax and take slow, deep breaths. Keep yourself safe by going at your own pace. Trust your instincts, and don't push yourself to do too much too soon.

  • One leg balance. Stand in a doorway for all 4 steps of this exercise so you can put your hands on either side of the door frame if you need to. Try the first step below. If you can do that one easily, go on to the second step. If not, just do step one of this exercise for now and move on to the next exercise. Keep yourself safe, and go at your own pace.
    • First step: Stand on one leg with your eyes open. Balance for as long as you can, working up to 60 seconds on each leg. When you can do this for 60 seconds, try the next exercise.
    • Second step: Stand on one leg and fold your arms across your chest with your eyes open. When you can do this for 60 seconds on each leg, go on to the next exercise.
    • Third step: Stand on one leg and hold your arms out to the sides and close your eyes. When you can do this for 60 seconds on each leg, try the next exercise.
    • Fourth step: Stand on one leg and fold your arms across your chest with your eyes closed. Balance for as long as you can, working up to 60 seconds on each leg.
  • Toe-heel balance. Hold onto the sink, counter, or the back of your chair with both hands. Stand on your toes and hold that position for 10 seconds. Then rock back to your heels, holding that position for 10 seconds. Repeat about 5 times.
  • Hip circles. Hold onto the sink, counter, or the back of your chair with both hands. Without moving your shoulders or feet, make a big circle to the left with your hips (counterclockwise). After you make 5 circles to the left, make 5 circles to the right (clockwise).
  • Heel-toe walking. Stand with your left side toward the kitchen counter. You can use the counter for balance if you need to. Place the heel of your left foot in front of the toes of your right foot so the heel and toes touch. Focus on a spot ahead of you, and take a step so that your right heel touches the toes of your left foot. Work up to 20 steps. You can turn around and go in the other direction, with the counter on your right.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 26, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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