How to Improve Your Balance And Long-Term Health without Tools

By Savanna Stone
//

How to Improve Your Balance And Long-Term Health without Tools

Why is balance important?

As we age, it becomes increasingly important to have good balance. As a senior citizen, having good balance can prevent you from falling and can help you maintain your independence longer. Starting at a young age to practice maintaining good balance will benefit your life and your future. 

Balance exercises should be done with strength, endurance, and flexibility exercises. This variety of exercises can help keep you body fit and healthy. 



Things that will help improve your balance 

  • Yoga
  • Lower body exercise 
  • Tai chi
  • Walking


Simple exercises to get started

  • See how long you can stand on one foot. Have stable furniture next to you so you don’t fall.
  • Walk heel to toe across the room, walking in a straight line like in a balance beam. Put your right heel in front of your left toe and vice versa as you walk. 



Beginner Balancing Exercises


The following exercises can help you to challenge your balance. Feel free to modify these exercises to fit you! If these are too difficult, have a sturdy object nearby for support. Gradually work up to not using an object to help you balance by holding on with your hand, then just one finger, then not at all. If these exercises are too easy for you, go to this blog post to see more difficult balancing challenges. 



Single leg lift


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips or holding onto a sturdy object for support.
  2. Slightly bend your right leg, letting your body weight rest on your left leg. Stay here until you find your balance.
  3. When you’re ready, straighten your right leg and lift it out in front of you, then rest back down.
  4. Do 3 sets of 10 on both sides.

Single leg bend


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips or holding onto a sturdy object for support.
  2. Slightly bend your right leg, letting your body weight rest on your left leg. Stay here until you find your balance.
  3. When you’re ready, lift your right knee up so your thigh is parallel to the floor, and then rest back down.
  4. Do 3 sets of 10 on both sides.

Calf raises

 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Have a sturdy object next to you for support if you need it.
  2. Lift up to the balls of your feet, and rest back down. 
  3. Do 3 sets of 10.
  4. Alternative options: As you lift up on the balls of your feet, bring one arm out in front of you. If that is too easy, try bringing both arms out in front of you. You can also try staying lifted for as long as you can without holding onto any support objects. 

Tree pose


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips or holding onto a sturdy object for support.
  2. Slightly bend your right leg, letting your body weight rest on your left leg. Stay here until you find your balance.
  3. Bring your hands together at your chest. 
  4. Lift your right leg so the bottom of your right foot rests on your left thigh. If that is too difficult for you, allow your foot to rest on the side of your calf. As you practice, you will be able to do more difficult versions of this pose.
  5. When you’re ready, lift your arms up to the sky and bring your gaze up. Try and hold this position for 30 seconds.
  6. Rest back down. Do this on both sides. 

Half squat


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. 
  2. Keeping your knees at or behind your toes, squat down approximately 10 inches, or squat down halfway. Place your hands out in front of you for balance. Hold the squat for 3 to 4 seconds then stand up, pushing through your heels and pushing your hips forward at the top. 
  3. Repeat 3 sets of 10. 



Bonus exercise!

Try using the Chirp Wheel to challenge yourself! Go here for more ideas on using the wheel to challenge your balance. Extra bonus: the Chirp Wheel can help with back pain relief!


Sit and lean back.


  1. Sit on the ground with knees bent and feet firmly planted. 
  2. Place the Chirp Wheel+ against your back in alignment with your spine. Take some time to center yourself and find balance even on the ground.
  3. Lean back gently to transfer your weight to the wheel. Relax and find balance in this position before lifting your hips.

Lift hips.



  1. Rest your hands on the ground, the wheel, or your chest for balance. Do whichever feels the most comfortable for you.
  2. Lift your hips upward while relaxing your back. Find balance with your hips lifted before rolling on the wheel. 
  3. Don’t tense up! The more you relax your back, the better it will feel.

Roll back and forth.

  1. Begin to roll back and forth on the wheel by bending and straightening your legs. Use your hands for balance. If one spot on your back needs an extra massage, stop rolling to put pressure on that spot. Or switch to a smaller wheel.
  2. Roll out for 3 to 5 minutes. Length of preferred use will vary by individual.
  3. Relax your head back to avoid neck pain.

If you want to challenge your balance even more, try incorporating the Chirp Wheel into your workout.




 

 

References


Crockleton, E. (2019, March 22). 13 exercises for balance. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/exercises-for-balance#exercises-for-kids

Heart. (2020). Balance exercise. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/balance-exercise#:~:text=Having%20good%20balance%20is%20important,older%20adults%20and%20stroke%20patients.

Mayo Clinic. (2020). Balance exercises. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/multimedia/balance-exercises/sls-20076853