Best Balance Exercises

mature female standing in flamingo poseBalance is critical to almost everything we do - from walking, to sitting in a chair, even taking a shower and getting out of bed in the morning. While the “home” of balance is in our inner ears, the muscles that help us stay upright begin to weaken at the ripe “old” age of 30! The good news is, we don’t have to stand idly by and watch our balance slip away—it’s a “use it or lose it” skill, so we just need to make sure we actively maintain our balance. Let’s take a look at some simple exercises to do just that.

1. Stand flamingo style.
You can practice standing on one foot anytime, anywhere. Stand on your right foot for a couple of minutes while washing the dishes. Stand on the left foot while brushing your teeth. Make it a habit to alternate feet once in awhile while standing in line.

2. Walk the line.
Just like the sobriety tests we see on the TV police shows, walk in a straight line, making sure that the heel of the “stepping” foot touches the toes of the foot behind it. Do 20 paces, and then repeat backward, toes touching the heel of the foot in front.

3. Bounce on a ball.
Get an exercise ball, sometimes called a yoga ball or a stability ball. You can sit on it at your desk, while watching TV … almost anytime you’re seated. Just sitting on one of these will help tone the muscles in your core that help with balance. Bouncing or rocking from side to side (or back to front) will let you work a little harder.

4. Nod your head.
Stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Slowly turn your head to the left and then to the right. Next, tilt your head to look up and then down. Repeat a few times. If you get dizzy, slow down your movements. If you’re still dizzy, stop the exercise and sit down.

5. Don’t watch where you’re going.
First, make sure your path is clear! While looking backward over your shoulder, take five steps forward. Repeat while looking over the other shoulder.

Practice makes perfect.
Try to work in some of these exercises every day to maintain your balancing act.