July 01, 2021

Improving your balance

Staying steady, preventing falls

Tip From The Experts

Performing balance exercises barefoot is ideal, as it better stimulates the nerve endings and may help with strengthening your feet muscles. However, shoes may be beneficial if pain in the feet is a limiting factor to performing these exercises.

 

It's said that once you learn how to ride a bicycle, you never forget. But that's not totally true. Although you may not "forget" how to balance on a bike, your balancing skills can decline if you're not using them regularly. And the same is true off of a bike.

In addition, there are factors associated with aging that can affect balance. These include vision changes, declining muscle mass — which can accelerate with less physical activity — side effects of certain medications, and health conditions such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, arthritis or inner ear abnormalities.

Balance
 

Before you start, be sure to have something in place to hold on to help with balance if needed. Then stand with both feet close together.

For up to one minute, simply stand with your eyes open.

Next, try standing with your eyes closed for up to one minute.

Stand on one foot