Do you feel off balance? Are you hesitant to go on a walk outside because of uneven surfaces? Do you avoid going to dinner because there may be steps? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to work on improving your balance.
According to data from the CDC, more than one out of four people aged 65 and older fall each year.1 Although there are many conditions that can contribute to falling, difficulties with walking and balance are both among the risk factors. Read below for exercises that can help you improve your balance and minimize your risk of falling.
Stand at a counter or table. Lift one foot off the floor. The counter or table is there for safety and should only be used if you begin to feel off balance. Stand for 30 seconds, three times on each foot. This can be further challenged by standing on a pillow versus the floor.
Find a straight and flat area in your home that is about 10 feet long. Walk with one foot in front of the other in a straight line, trying to have the heel of the front foot touch the toes of the back foot. If you are unable to get one foot up against the other foot, try to get them as close as possible. Walk the 10 foot length, four times.
Stand at a counter or table with your body turned to the side. Stand on the leg closer to the support surface while swinging the other leg forward and backward. Try not to hold onto the support surface unless you feel like you are losing your balance. Turn to face the opposite way to perform with the other leg. Perform 30 kicks on each leg.
Stand at a counter or table. Stand on one leg and kick one leg out to the side, moving at your hip while keeping your trunk upright. Use a light hand hold on the support surface if you need for safety. Perform 10 repetitions, three times on each leg.
Stand at a counter or table. Perform standing marches, picking your knee up as high as possible while staying balanced. Only use the support surface for safety. Perform 30 marches on each leg.
By improving your balance you can help minimize your risk of falling. If would like a more individualized plan to improve your balance, call a nearby Athletico clinic to request an appointment or schedule a virtual visit and have your condition assessed and treated from the comfort of your own home through a secure online video chat with a licensed healthcare professional.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. “Important Facts about Falls | Home and Recreational Safety | CDC Injury Center.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html.