Improving Balance Through Exercise

Falls are not only the leading cause of injury-related deaths in older adults, but they're also a significant cause of morbidity and disability, including head trauma, soft tissue injuries, fractures and dislocations. One of the most common risk factors for fall is impaired balance. The following strengthening exercise can improve balance and prevent falls.

One Foot Balance: Lift one foot and hold the position, then alternate legs. Have something sturdy nearby to hold onto for support if needed.

Toe Raise: Using a chair for balance, stand straight and lift the heels off the floor.

Leg and Arm Extension: Begin on your hands and knees, keeping your back straight. Progress to lift your opposite arm and leg. Alternative sides.

Knee Raise: Stand Straight and hold a chair for balance. Bring the knee towards the chest. Hold 1 second then return to starting position. Do not bend at waist or hips.

Leg Extension: Balance on one leg. Extend your other leg behind your body. Repeat on the other side. (Ankle weights can be added.)

Knee Flexion: Stand Straight and hold a chair for balance. Without moving the upper leg, bend the knee to bring the heel up in back. Hold 1 second then return to starting position.

Chair Squat: Hold an exercise band or tube at your waist. Keep your elbows straight. Slowly lower your body down to the chair by bending your knees and hips. Keep your back straight. Return to standing.

Click here for more information.