Easy Balance Exercises

Photo Credit: David Maisel CC-BY-3.0

Good balance is important to avoid falls and injury. Balance helps you shift your body’s center of gravity to avoid falling if you slip or trip. Balance exercises should be done for at least 5 minutes every day. Gradually increase the time you spend doing balance exercises until you can do balance exercises for 15 minutes each day. Before doing balance exercises, move all objects, such as shoes, books and toys, out of the room where you will be exercising. Use a sturdy chair to help you maintain your balance when you first start doing balance exercises. 
Start with a single leg balance exercise. Hold on to the back of a chair or place your hand on a wall for support if you need help. Stand up straight and place your feet about hip-width apart. Slowly lift one leg straight out and up about 3 to 4 inches off the floor. Hold this position for about 1 minute. Bring your foot back to the floor and repeat this exercise with the other leg. Eventually you want to do the single leg balance without holding onto a chair or the wall. Once you master the single leg balance, try to do it with your eyes closed. You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by standing on a soft surface, such as a pillow. 
Wobble boards are balance exercise boards that “wobble” under your feet. You should not use a wobble board if you suffer from a serious imbalance or have an inner ear condition that affects your balance. The wobble board improves your sense of where your body is in space, also called  proprioception. Use a wobble board with bare feet on a soft carpeted floor until you become adept at balancing on this device. Don’t use a wobble board on hardwood or tile floors because you could be injured if you lose your balance and fall. Stand on a wobble board with both feet about hip-width apart. Hold onto a chair or place your hand against a wall for support until your balance improves. Rock the board gently back and forth and side to side. Balance on the wobble board for 3 minutes each day. 

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