According to the National Institute on Aging, more than a third of people 65 years of age and up fall at some point. These falls can result in life-altering injuries such a hip fractures that can affect your health and ability to remain independent. Balance exercises can help you increase the control you have over your body to help prevent these potentially devastating falls and injuries.
An example of a balance exercise is standing on one leg. To perform this exercise, stand on one leg and hold for about 10 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat the motion for up to 15 more times. Switch legs and repeat. Do another set with each leg. Progress to supporting yourself with one hand, then no hands and even eyes closed as time goes on and you get more comfortable and stronger.
You can add strength exercises two times a week on non-consecutive days to improve your balance as well. The side leg raise is an example of a strength exercise that helps improve balance. It strengthens the hips, butt and thighs. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet spaced a bit apart and facing forward. Slowly lift your left leg out to the side while keeping your right leg stationery and your back straight (avoid arching). Hold for a second and return the leg to the starting position. Repeat up to 15 times. Switch legs and repeat. Do another set with each leg.
You can actually perform balance exercises as much as you want and pretty much anywhere. Just make sure you have something sturdy to use to catch yourself should you start to fall, especially when you're just starting out. Rest up to 90 seconds between sets.