Do you have balance-related problems? You may be at risk of falling down and injuring yourself. Here are some of the best exercises to improve your balance and ward off these problems
Exercising regularly has several benefits, and as people are becoming aware of it, they have started to include exercise in their daily routine.
Apart from the obvious health benefits like losing weight, building stamina, or staying fit and flexible, exercise also helps improve your balance. And while it may not seem much beneficial at a young age, improved balance will help reduce the risk of falls in old age and thus help reduce the risk of injuries.
Your body’s core is majorly responsible for maintaining balance and keeping your body upright. Any exercise that challenges your core muscles and center of gravity will help improve your balance immensely.
We will discuss today the best exercises to improve your balance by strengthening your core muscles and training your body to stay balanced.
11 Best Exercises To Improve Your Balance
#1 Single-Leg Stand
Let’s start with a simple exercise for improving your balance. Take a chair with a sturdy bottom, i.e., no wheels, and stand behind it. Hold onto the chair’s back, lift your left leg to about your calf level, and maintain your balance on your right leg.
Stay in this position for almost 15 seconds or longer, and then switch to your left leg while holding your right leg up. Repeat 15-20 times for each leg.
This exercise’s goal is to eventually stand on one leg for 30-60 seconds without holding onto the chair. According to a study, the ability to stand on one leg may reduce stroke risk. Since you can take support of the chair, this exercise is suitable even for seniors.
This may seem absurd, and you might wonder how walking will help with your balance. But there are some forms of walking like walking sideways and heel to toe that will help improve your balance by making your leg muscle strength.
In sideways walking, you need to stand while keeping your feet together and your knees bent slightly. Move your left leg sideways in slow motion, place it firmly on the ground, and then move your right leg to join it.
Repeat the step 10 to 15 times or till you have reached the end of the room. Repeat it on the other side by moving your right leg sideways first.
In heel-to-toe walking, you need to put your left foot in front of your right foot so that the heel of your left foot is in contact with the toe of your right foot.
Move your right foot in front of the left and maintain contact with the toes and heels. Repeat this walking motion for about 20 steps at a time.
#3 Step Up
For this exercise, you would need a step. If a senior person is performing this exercise, it is better to use a step with a railing or place it near a wall for better support.
Start by stepping up on the step with either your right or left leg. After placing your foot on the step, bring your other leg up and stand on the step. Step down and then again repeat the process 10-20 times. The aim here is to step up and down off the step slowly, which builds your balance.
#4 Rock The Boat
For this exercise, stand straight with your eyes looking forward and keep your feet apart in a comfortable position, pressed firmly to the ground. The gap between your legs should be your hip’s width.
Shift your body weight on the left side of your body onto your left foot, and then lift your right leg above the ground slowly and steadily. Keep your leg up as long as possible without falling, but it should not be more than 30 seconds.
Bring your foot down to the ground, and then repeat the same process with your right leg firmly pressed to the floor and your leg up. Repeat this process 10 to 15 times.
#5 Heel Raises or Toe Stand
The aim of this workout is to strengthen your ankle and calf muscles which in turn improves your balance while standing or walking. Take a chair and hold onto its back for support. You can also use a wall for support.
Keep your feet close, and then slowly raise your heels till you are standing on your tiptoes. Hold for 1-2 seconds, and then bring your heels back. Repeat the process 10-15 times, rest for a while, and do a few more sets.
#6 Side Leg Raise
Take a chair with a raised back and hold the chair’s back for better support. Stand straight while keeping your legs apart from each other slightly. Start by slowly raising your left leg on your side.
Make sure to keep your posture straight and look straight ahead. The toe of your legs should face forward. Hold onto the position for some seconds and lower your leg back down. Repeat the process with your right leg. Do at least 10 to 15 rounds of this exercise for each leg.
Apart from toning your leg muscles and aiding in weight loss, squats also help improve your balance by strengthening your pelvis and leg muscles.
Start by standing with feet firmly planted to the ground. The gap between your feet should be wider than the width of your hips. Start bending your knees and moving your hips backward as if you are sitting down on a chair. Hold the position at a comfortable angle by keeping your weight balanced on your heels.
You can keep your hands stretched in front of you or place them on your thighs. Stand back up and repeat the same process 10 to 15 times.
#8 Knee Curl
This exercise is quite similar to the first exercise- the single-leg stand. Take a chair and hold on to its back for support. Lift any of your legs, keeping it straight, and then curl your feet towards your hips by keeping your hips steady.
Hold your position for 1-2 seconds and lower your leg. Repeat the same process with the other leg and repeat the whole process 10 to 15 times on each leg.
#9 Wall Push Ups
Stand in front of an empty wall with no windows, doors, or hangings. The distance between you and the wall should be about the length of your arm. Put your palms on the wall in a flat position. Doing this will make your body lean forward slightly.
The gap between your palms should be equal to your shoulder width. Bring your body forward by bending your elbows and your feet firmly planted on the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds and move back to the initial position. Repeat this process 15 to 20 times.
#10 Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a Chinese form of exercise which is a slow form of exercise that keeps your body in continuous motion. The slow nature of the exercise helps you meditate while being in motion.
Practicing this exercise helps improve your balance and reduce the chances of falls in older age. However, it is better to learn this form of exercise from a teacher who is an expert in Tai Chi.
Last but probably the best exercise on our list is yoga. Yoga is all about healing and strengthening your body, and given the slow nature of the asanas performed in yoga, even a senior can perform them easily.
Tree pose, warrior pose, and mountain pose are some of the best yoga asanas that, if performed regularly, will help improve your balance.
As we age, we start losing our balance, which can lead to falls. It is essential that we work on improving our balance from a young age. We have discussed some easy and best exercises to improve your balance. Regularly performing these will help you immensely.
We hope you loved the exercises, and if you have any queries about them or balance issues in general, do not hesitate to drop us a ping or a mail. We will get back to you quickly.
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