Exercise is a vital habit to maintain throughout your life, no matter how old you are. This is true even – and especially! – in your golden years. Regular physical activity improves your flexibility and reduces the risk of certain health complications. It also keeps you mobile and strong, which helps you stay independent for longer. Here, we list out 3 balance exercises that you can do.
Tips to Start
Before that, however, here are some tips to keep in mind to optimize your performance.
- Figure out which leg is your dominant one. Which leg do you tend to “walk forward” with? Start each exercise with your non-dominant leg instead.
- Maintain good posture and form while holding your exercise position.
- To help you maintain your balance, find a spot straight ahead of you and focus on it.
- If you feel wobbly while standing, you can place your feet a little further apart to keep you grounded.
- Bend your knees slightly to prevent hyper-extending.
- Distribute your weight equally among both feet.
The exercises below can be done with shoes or bare feet. Shoes give you more grip, while doing them barefoot can strengthen the muscles of your feet. A yoga mat can help reduce your chance of slipping. We recommend that you consult your doctor before embarking on these exercises, and that you do them in the proximity of someone who can provide you any support if necessary.
Now that we’ve got that covered, read on for the exercises!
Rock the Boat
- Stand with your feet placed a hip-distance apart
- Lift your arms and extend them to your sides
- Life your left foot (you can start with your right if you prefer) off the floor and bend your knee, bringing your heel towards the bottom
- Hold the position for up to 30 seconds, if you can
- Repeat steps 1 – 4 on your opposite side
- Do each side thrice.
- Lift your arms and extend them out to your sides
- Walk straight ahead while keeping your gaze focused on a fixed point ahead of you
- Whenever you raise your foot, hold it up and keep it in the air for 3 seconds
- Take between 20 to 30 steps
Back Leg Raises
- Place your hands on the back of a chair or against a wall
- Shift your weight onto your right foot (you can start with your left if you prefer)
- Lift the opposite leg back and as high up as you can – remember not to over-extend yourself, particularly if it is your first time doing the exercise
- Hold the position for 5 seconds
- Return to the starting position
- Do 10 repetitions of steps 1 – 5
- Repeat steps 1 – 6 on the other leg
Make Exercise a Habit
For best results, do these activities at least a few times a week. You should be doing some sort of physical activity daily, even if just for a short period of time. Building a routine involves keeping consistent! Also remember that health and wellness is holistic – it’s not just about physical activity, but keeping emotionally regulated and dining well.