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  • Writer's pictureJulia Comodo

Simple exercises to increase your balance

Most people don’t think much about their balance, until they fall.

As we age, if it isn’t practiced, our balance gradually declines .

Balance is the ability to distribute your weight in a way that enables you to hold a steady position or move at will without falling.

It’s determined by a combination of muscle strength, visual inputs, the inner ear and the work of specialized receptors in the nerves of your joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons that orient you in relation to the space around you.

Aging can decrease our balance senses, and causes most seniors to gradually become less stable on their feet over time.

Poor balance can also lead to a vicious cycle of inactivity : You feel a little unstable and insecure so you avoid certain activities.

If you’re inactive, you’re not challenging your balance systems or using your muscles. As a result, both balance and strength suffer.

The best thing to do ? Exercise. Don't need to be anything complicated some simple exercises can help to preserve and improve your balance.

Here are some basic exercises that you can do anytime :

  • Sit-to-stand: Without using your hands, get up from a straight-backed chair and sit back down 10 to 20 times. This improves balance and leg strength.

  • One-legged stands: Stand on one foot for 30 seconds, or longer, then switch to the other foot. You can do this while brushing your teeth or waiting around somewhere. In the beginning, you might want to have a wall or chair to hold on to.

  • Heel rises: While standing, rise up on your toes as far as you can. Then drop back to the starting position and repeat the process 10 to 20 times. You can make this more difficult by holding light hand weights.

  • Heel-toe walk: Take 20 steps while looking straight ahead.

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