Improving your balance skills at any age

Balance (940 × 600px)

Balance training involves doing exercises that strengthen the muscles that help keep you upright, including your legs and core. These kinds of exercises can improve stability and help prevent falls. Balance exercises should be completed at least 3 times a week and is good exercise for people of any age and fitness level.

Regular balance exercises can reduce the risk of falls in older age and subsequent lower limb injuries and the following exercises are great options to try

  • Single leg standing – try balancing on one leg for as long as you can
  • Tandem walking (walk along the floor as if you are on a tightrope)
  • Standing up and sitting down from a chair without using your hands
  • Use a wobble/balance board
  • Heel raises/toe standing

Over time, you can improve your balance with these exercises by:

  • Holding the position for a longer amount of time
  • Adding movement to a pose
  • Closing your eyes
  • Letting go of your chair or other support

If you are looking for a class to incorporate balance exercises, then the following are great options;

  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi

It is important to complete balance exercises with a supportive surface nearby- not to lean on but to be used to regain your balance. Challenging and improving balance takes time and requires improving strength and proprioception (knowing where your body is in space).

It can take a few weeks of regular balance exercises before seeing a noticeable improvement. A Physiotherapist can help with a tailored personalised exercise programme depending on the cause of your balance issues.