Find Your Balance: 7 Easy Exercises that Can Help You Find Your Footing

Jun 8, 2022

A recent edition of Harvard Health Publishing had this to say about an issue many of us take for granted: balance.

“The body systems responsible for balance can be affected by gradual changes due to aging or side effects of medications. There are also a host of health problems that can lead to unsteadiness on your feet. But many stability problems caused by aging or conditions such as arthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis respond well to exercises designed to improve balance.”

Balance plays such an important role throughout our lives, and while it’s relevant to every age group it’s especially important for seniors. Finding and maintaining your balance as you get older will help ensure you stay active and safe from injury.

Good Balance:

  • Helps prevent falls and injuries
  • Helps us move around better and it allows us to build up muscle tone and strength
  • Helps to improve mental awareness and memory

7 Exercises that Improve Balance

In general, most kinds of balance and co-ordination exercises aid our stability and balance, but what follows are a few specific ones that really work.

1. Heel Raises

The end goal is to be able to do these without support but, to start, use a chair or wall for reinforcement. Stand straight and tall and then slowly raise yourself up onto your tiptoes so that your heels come off the ground. Then return to standing flat. Do these 10 times.

2. Heel-to-Toe Walking

Walk along a straight line on the floor and try to walk heel-to-toe for 10-15 feet, and then back again. If you need a bit of visual guidance, put a piece of tape on the floor that you can follow with your steps.

3. Balancing on One Foot

Again, if your balance isn’t great and you’re just starting to add these types of exercises to your daily regimen, you might want to have a chair edge or wall to lean on (or at least have one within arm’s reach in case you start to lose your balance). Take turns balancing for five seconds on each foot, alternating from right to left, for a count of 10.

4. Shoulder Rolls

This exercise should be done while standing – the important thing here is to have good posture, so it might help to do this movement in front of a mirror so that you can correct your stance if need be. Roll both of your shoulders in slow, full circles, forwards and backwards 10 times. Rest for a count of five. Repeat.

5. Rock the Boat

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, extend your arms out at your sides and slowly lift your left leg bending at the knee. Then put it back down. Do the same with your right leg. Repeat this movement five times and incrementally increase the number of reps with time.

6. Back Leg Raises

You’ll need the back of a chair or couch, or even a table, to lean on for this exercise. Stand straight with both feet firmly planted on the ground and then bend one leg, extend it slowly back behind you and then return to a stand. Repeat five times, alternating your legs from left to right.

7. Marching

Marching sounds simple enough, right? Marching is a great way to not only get your heart pumping and help your muscles warm up, it’s also a fantastic way to improve your coordination and overall balance. Take a march through the house a few times or around your backyard. Be sure to take your time and concentrate on each exaggerated step.

From Baby to Boomer & Back Again (or Not)

We start life as toddlers being unsteady on our feet and only after a process of trial and error, do we master the technique of walking upright in a steady, sustained fashion. Sadly, that ability often declines with age, but the good news is it’s never too late to do something about it. These exercises should help you stay upright and on the go – good luck!

Recent Posts

Aviso Weekly Market Pulse: May 20th – May 24th

Market developments Equities: U.S. stocks climbed after data showed consumers tempered their inflation expectations in late May. The S&P 500 had its fifth straight week of gains, the longest bullish streak since February. It topped 5,300 and the Nasdaq 100 rose...

NEI Monthly Market Insights: April 2024

Robust earnings helped mitigate fear of persistent inflation Market sentiment turned bearish in early April for both equity and fixed income markets as sticky U.S. inflation data fuelled market fears that central banks will not ease monetary policy as quickly as...

Aviso Weekly Market Pulse: May 13th – May 17th

Market developments Equities: The stock market has been rallying recently, with the S&P 500 on track for its fourth straight weekly gain. This has been fueled by hopes of Federal Reserve rate cuts following some positive inflation reports, as well as strong...

Aviso Weekly Market Pulse: May 6th – May 10th

Market developments Equities: The S&P 500 closed near 5,225, for its third straight weekly gain, while the Dow rose for an eighth consecutive session. The stock market lost momentum after economic data pointed to a slowing economy amid persistent inflationary...

Aviso Weekly Market Pulse: April 29th – May 3rd

Market developments Equities: The economic data to close out the week was seen as a "Goldilocks" scenario by markets, indicating the economy is cooling enough for the Federal Reserve to likely start cutting interest rates as soon as September. The S&P 500 rose by...

NEI Monthly Market Insights: March 2024

Unstoppable equity market rally on soft landing narrative Resilient economic data throughout the first quarter supported the soft landing narrative and pushed equity markets around the world to new record highs. Global equities posted strong returns with the MSCI ACWI...