5 Exercises to Improve Your Balance

Balance isn’t usually something anyone thinks about until it becomes problematic. This can happen as you age, which is when falls can become a bigger health issue. Yet, if you’re looking to improve your balance, there are only a handful of exercises you need. 

In this article, we’re going to outline the exact exercises you’ll want to include in your regular routine to maintain proper balance and stability through every phase of your life. That way, you can spend more time enjoying life and less time on the sidelines in pain.

Why Balance Matters

Balance is deeply integrated into our everyday life. You need it to stand, walk, or use the stairs. Basically, it keeps you upright. 

However, balance, along with muscle mass, tends to decline as you age. This means that as you start to approach or get into your senior years, losing your balance can become a problem. It can lead to increased falls and thus, increased injury and pain. In the worst cases, you might experience a broken bone or a concussion. 

Luckily, balance is easily improved with regular practice. All you need is a few minutes out of your day a few times a week, as well as the knowledge regarding exactly what you should be doing to improve your balance. We’ve got all the info below.

Easy Balance Exercises You Can Do Anywhere & Anytime

Whether you’re visiting family or out on vacation, these exercises can be performed basically anywhere. This makes it easy to adhere to these movements and keep them in your regular routine. 

We’ll start with some less-challenging varieties before moving onto a few more advanced moves. This means that if you’re just starting out with balance exercises, you have other exercises you can level up to when the time is right.

5 Easy Balance Exercises for Seniors

For the five following exercises, make sure you begin by standing near a chair or stable object (something you can grab if you lose your balance). 

1. The Single Leg Stand

Stand tall facing the back of the chair. Have a timer nearby and hit the start button. At the same time, lift on foot off the ground. Hold here. Aim for 15-20 seconds to start. Once this gets easier, aim for a minute or more. Don’t forget to perform this exercise on the opposite leg.

2. The Toe Stand

Place both hands on the back of the chair. Slowly come up onto both of your toes. Pause for 5-10 seconds, then slowly lower in a controlled movement. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

3. Standing Marches

Stand facing the back of the chair again. Slowly bring your knee up in front of you and so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Pause, then lower. Repeat on the opposite side for a total of 10 repetitions.

As you go through this exercise, make sure you’re engaging your core. This means tightening through the muscles in between your hips. At the same time, don’t forget to breathe!

4. Lateral Stepping

Stand perpendicular to the chair or stable object. Hold onto the chair or object with your hand closest to it. Gently step outward, then back in. Do this 10-15 times, then repeat on the other side.

5. Step Foot Taps

Find a step or stairs. Hold onto the railing, then step up one foot onto the stair. (If this feels good, you can lift your back foot up, while keeping your front knee slightly bent.) Pause here for 5-10 seconds, then lower back down. Repeat for a total of 10-12 repetitions, then do the same on the other side.

5 Advanced Balance Disorder Exercises

Once you’ve mastered the exercises above, you can move onto ones below.

1. Squat

If it’s been a while since you’ve done squats, make sure you have something nearby you can use for balance, such as a chair. You may also choose to do this exercise with your back on a wall for additional support or with a chair below your buttocks to tap.

Bend your knees and bring your buttocks back, as if you were going to sit on a chair. Make sure your knees don’t traction over your feet. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause, then push back up into standing. Repeat for a total of 8-12 repetitions.

2. Standing Crunch with Under Leg Clap

Stand tall and bend one leg up toward your body. Clap your hands over your head, then clap your hands together under your leg. Pause in between reps, and repeat. Do this 10-12 times. If you need to, place your leg back down for any breaks between reps.

3. Plank

Begin on all fours on a comfortable surface. If it’s available to you, extend your legs straight back so that you come up onto your toes and form a straight line between your head and your heels. 

If this isn’t possible, you can also perform the plank from your knees. For this option, you will need to move your knee back so that your body forms a semi-straight-line from your head to your buttocks. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Once this gets easier, aim for 30 seconds to a minute.

4. Lunges

Lunges are a wonderful functional exercise. To perform a lunge, stand tall and step one foot forward. Bend your front knee over top of your front ankle. Bend your back knee under your hips. Pause, then step back to the start and switch sides. Do 10 repetitions per leg.

5. Standing Oblique Crunch

This is a really simple exercise that can improve your balance and core strength. Stand tall, and bend your elbows, placing your hands behind your head. Bring your right knee up to touch your right elbow, then slowly release. Do the same on the other side, alternating between the two, for a total of 12-15 repetitions. 

Start Practicing Balance and Stability Exercises Today!

Stay ahead of the curve and strive for better balance at every age. It’s entirely possible to age gracefully, without fear of falls or injury. 

If you want more help to improve your balance, contact Corydon Physiotherapy today at 204-900-8308. We are your movement experts, helping you achieve optimal health and wellness through all phases of life.

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Garret Klos, B.Sc, BMR, (PT)
Garret graduated with his Bachelors of Physical Therapy in 2013 from the University of Manitoba. He has also previously obtained his Bachelor of Science also from the University of Manitoba. Garret is trained in a variety of Physiotherapy techniques and believes above all that a treatment program should be tailored to the individual. Garret enjoys staying active through recreational sports and spending time outdoors with his wife to two dogs.
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