By Josée Lavigueur
Balance is an essential part of good health and helps to prevent potentially serious falls; fortunately, you can maintain or improve your balance with exercises like these.
- Standing behind a chair—holding your hands just above the back of it to steady yourself if necessary—and rise up on your tiptoes and hold for five to 15 seconds.
- Repeat… often!
When you’re on tiptoe, turn your head to the left and the right, and then return to the centre before coming down.
- Stand behind a chair and place your hands above the chair back, without touching it, if possible.
- Making sure your supporting leg is firmly planted, extend the other leg out to the side; return to the starting position.
- Repeat eight times and then switch legs.
To make the exercise a bit more challenging, turn your head from side to side.
Back and Forth
- Stand beside a chair, without touching the chair back unless you need to. Hold your arms in front of you (bent at the elbow) and lift your left knee. Keep your back straight.
- Slowly extend your left leg behind you and then bring it back in front of you without stopping.
- Repeat the movement four to 12 times and then switch legs.
To strengthen your thighs as well, try bending the supporting leg when you extend the other leg behind you.
– Use a sturdy, stable chair. You’ll soon find that you need it less and less.
– Working on your balance is something you can do every day and whenever you have the chance. For example, when you’re brushing your teeth, stand for one minute on one foot and then on the other.