A Balancing Act: 5 Ways to Improve Your Balance and Prevent Falls
September 13, 2019
October 19, 2016
Having good balance allows you to control and maintain your body’s position comfortably, and as you age, reduce your chance of suffering a fall. The exercise program below helps you improve leg strength and your sense of proprioception (knowing where your body is in space). You can do these five exercises in about 10 minutes. Start when you’re younger to stay safe as you age!
Single Leg Stance
Start with eye open, and when it gets easy, close your eyes. Pick up one leg and slightly bend your plant leg. Start by trying to hold your balance for 30 seconds, without holding on to anything. Work your way up to hold for 60 seconds.
Standing up tall, without leaning, kick one leg out to the side. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then bring it back to the middle. Repeat 15 times, and work up to 2 to 3 sets on each side.
Sit to Stand
Use a chair that isn’t going to move, or any surface that is high enough to not hurt your knees. Stand up and sit down 15 times, keeping your knees square. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
Staggered Stance with Closed Eyes
Stand with heel and toe touching each other. Set a timer for 1 minute, and try not to hold on to anything if you don’t have to. Repeat twice on both sides.
Pull your toes back so just your heels are on the ground. Try to walk across the room and back. Do 3 or 4 laps.
If you have problems with balance or dizziness, LG Health physical and occupational therapists provide testing and can develop a treatment plan for you. Learn more here.
George Cattell, MS, PES, COS
George Cattell, MS, PES, COS, is an exercise physiologist with LG Health’s MyHealthyLiving team. Cattell oversees LG Health’s Employee Fitness Center and offers a variety of health and wellness classes for our Community Health and Wellness services.
Education: California University of Pennsylvania, B.S., Athletic Training, M.S., Health Promotion and Injury Prevention. Certifications—National Academy of Sports Medicine Performance Enhancement Specialist; Childhood Obesity Specialist.