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Balance Exercises
(for Strengthening 02 - Day 6)

After any injury or surgery on the leg or back, the balance that has been taken for granted can be compromised. Suddenly, walking across uneven surfaces or going up a curb can cause uneasy feelings and a fear of falling. Good balance is required to walk; but balance is also needed with bending over, picking things up, getting dressed, stepping into the shower, and reaching into cupboards. 

Good balance requires core and leg strength, flexibility, and appropriate reactions. Therefore, exercises that focus on strengthening muscles, stretching muscles, and challenging balance reactions can reduce the chance of falling and sustaining an injury. 

Additionally, the common phrase “use it or lose it” is true for balance. One of the reasons that people tend to become sedentary as they age is the pain that they begin to experience. A downward spiral can occur as the decreased activity leads to muscle weakness, poor flexibility, and ultimately, unsteadiness when moving around. 

The good news is that by working on targeted areas of exercises, balance can be improved and huge differences can be made in how comfortable and safe you are doing the things you do every day. 

Start with balance exercise #1. Initially attempt to stand with your eyes open. Once you are able to maintain the position for 10 seconds without losing your balance, advance to performing with your eyes closed.

Once you are able to balance for 10 seconds with your eyes closed, advance to exercise #2. Start with eyes open. Once you are able to maintain the position for 10 seconds, advance to performing with your eyes closed.

You cannot overdo these exercises.  We suggest you spend at least 10 minutes, twice a day, performing these balance exercises.

Exercise #1

Stand next to a stable object, such as a chair or countertop.  Place your feet one after the other (heel to toe) and hover your hands over the stable object.  Attempt to balance for 10 seconds.

Once you are able to balance for 10 seconds, advance to performing with your eyes closed.

Perform the exercise for the first five minutes with your right foot forward.  Finish the last five minutes with your left foot forward. 

Exercise #2

single leg stance

Stand on one leg as shown in the picture above.  Hover your hands over the stable object.  Attempt to balance for 10 seconds.

Once you are able to balance for 10 seconds, advance to performing with your eyes closed.

Perform the exercise for the first five minutes with your right foot forward.  Finish the last five minutes with your left foot forward. 

 

Mark Lesson Complete