How to Improve Your Balance
Each year, U.S. hospitals have 300,000 admissions for broken hips,
and falling is often the cause of those fractures. Balance exercises can
help you stay independent by helping you avoid the disability - often
permanent - that may result from falling.
As you will see, there is a lot
of overlap between strength and balance exercises; very often, one
exercise serves both purposes.
About Strength/Balance Exercises
Any of the lower-body exercises for
strength shown in the previous strength section also are balance exercises.
They include plantar flexion, hip flexion, hip extension, knee flexion, and
side leg raise. Just do your regularly scheduled strength exercises, and they
will improve your balance at the same time. Also do the knee-extension exercise,
which helps you keep your balance by increasing muscle strength in your upper
- Don't do more than your regularly scheduled strength-exercise sessions to
incorporate these balance modifications.
- Remember that doing strength exercises too often can do more harm than good.
- Simply do your strength exercises, and incorporate these balance techniques
as you progress.
These exercises can improve your balance
even more if you add the following modifications: Note that these exercises instruct
you to hold onto a table or chair for balance. Hold onto the table with only one hand.
As you progress, try holding on with only one fingertip. Next, try these exercises
without holding on at all. If you are very steady on your feet, move on to doing
the exercises using no hands, with your eyes closed. Have someone stand close by
if you are unsteady.