4. Turn your head or look up and down
Start with varying foot and leg positions as noted above, or try an unstable surface. If you need a challenge, try both at the same time, and you can close your eyes, too! (Careful, this is more difficult than it seems!)
5. Add movement elsewhere
While standing on one leg, put your arms out in a T position and make small circular motions for 30 seconds. Then try circular motions in the opposite direction. Work to increase your time. Once this becomes easy, try simultaneously turning your head side to side.
Incorporating balance training into your daily activity or exercise routine can be both easy and fun. These exercises should be tailored to your skill level. You should be challenged, but not to the degree that it is difficult to perform them safely.
Aim to incorporate balance exercises into your life for at least a few minutes each day — get started with these experiments.
Nov. 30, 2016
- During phone calls or television commercials, practice standing on one leg like a flamingo for 45 seconds, then switch sides. If this is too easy, try closing your eyes.
- Line up several pillows end to end, and walk across them, pretending you're on a balance beam. If this is too challenging, walk on a flat surface. Experiment with slowly turning your head side to side, then up and down while you are walking.
- Try a class designed to challenge and enhance your balance, such as tai chi, Pilates or yoga.
See more In-depth
- Bergen G, et al. Falls and fall injuries among adults aged ≥65 years — United States, 2014. MMWR. 2016;65:993. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6537a2.htm. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
- Kiel DP. Fall: Prevention in community-dwelling older persons. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
- Rogers ME. Balance and fall prevention. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2016/10/07/balance-and-fall-prevention. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.