Exercise: Exercises to Try

Frequently Asked Questions

6. What are some balance exercises to try?

The 3 exercises that follow are aimed at improving your balance, and better balance can help reduce falls. Pictures of older adults performing each of these exercises appear on the following pages, with easy directions to help you do them safely. They include

  1. standing on one foot
  2. walking heel to toe
  3. balance walk

You can do balance exercises almost anytime, anywhere, and as often as you like, as long as you have something sturdy nearby to hold on to if you become unsteady. In the beginning, using a chair or the wall for support will help you work on your balance safely. Talk with your doctor if you are unsure about doing a particular exercise.

Improve your balance by standing on one foot.

  1. Stand on one foot behind a sturdy chair, holding on for balance.
  2. Hold position for up to 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  4. Repeat 10 to 15 times with other leg.
  5. Repeat 10 to 15 more times with each leg.

Improve your balance by walking heel to toe.

  1. Position the heel of one foot just in front of the toes of the other foot. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch.
  2. Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
  3. Take a step. Put your heel just in front of the toe of your other foot.
  4. Repeat for 20 steps.

Improve your balance with the balance walk.

  1. Raise arms to sides, shoulder height.
  2. Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
  3. Walk in a straight line with one foot in front of the other.
  4. As you walk, lift your back leg. Pause for 1 second before stepping forward.
  5. Repeat for 20 steps, alternating legs.