Improve and Strengthen Your Balance
By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
Here are some exercises to practice throughout the day to help improve and strengthen your balance. Be sure to stand in a safe place with support in front of you as needed (such as your kitchen sink or the back of a chair.)
1. Stand on one leg and lift the other leg out toward the side and return to the starting position with the feet together. Repeat a few times with each leg.
(This exercise strengthens the muscle on the outside of the hip. It is important in stability with walking. The single leg stance helps improve balance.)
2. March in place, lifting your knees just a little at first, and then higher as you become stronger.
(This exercise strengthens the muscles that help you swing your leg forward which is important in gait and improving balance.)
3. Step to the side with your right leg, then shift all your weight to the right leg. Bend the right knee slightly as if you are lunging. Then shift your weight back to the left leg and return to the start position. Repeat several times with each leg.
(This exercise strengthens the muscles of the knee and hip and helps to improve balance.)
4. Step forward with your right leg, then shift all your weight to the right leg. Bend the knee slightly, in a lunge. Then return to the starting position. Repeat several times with each leg.
(This exercise strengthens the knee and hip muscles and helps to improve balance.)
Keep in mind these exercises are in no way intended to take the place of prescribed therapy or medical treatment–always check with your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program.