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Balancing Exercises in Exercise Encyclopedia

Here are some new exercises added to the Exercise Encyclopedia which you can find as a category on the BellaOnline.com main page of the Exercise Site. People of all ages can benefit from balance exercises. One of the main reasons they are so good for you is that they are helpful for core stability. A stable core will improve your coordination, exercise skill, and your posture.

In a complete healthy exercise routine you would typically include cardio, strength or resistance training, flexibility, and balancing exercises. Good balance is important when walking, or going up and down stairs. It can help prevent falls which is often a problem for older adults. Balancing exercises are beneficial to the obese. Good balance helps your weight to be allocated evenly all over the body.

Doing balancing exercises can be done every day and even several times a day, however a minimum of three times a week is recommend. Choose a variety of exercises and mix them up as they will work different parts of the body. Yoga and Tai Chi are excellent activities to improve balance.

1. Knee Lift
•Stand in starting position.
•Bend your knee and lift that leg off the ground as though you are marching, then lower it slowly
•Repeat this movement 5-10 times on each leg working up to 15 repetitions.

2. Rear Leg Lifts
•Stand facing the back of a chair and hold with both hands.
•Step back and release your grip from the chair. Lean forward slightly while keeping a flat back.
•Slowly lift your right leg back behind you as high as you can. Don’t strain. Hold for a count of 5.
•Lower and repeat with the left leg. Do each side 5 times.

3. Side Leg Raise
•Stand in starting position moving your hands to your waist.
•Lift one leg off the floor and out to the side about 6-12 inches off the floor, then lower it.
•Stand straight with your core engaged. Don’t lean towards the lifted leg.
•Repeat the exercise 10-15 times on each leg.

4. Super Balance Pose
•Stand facing the back of a chair and hold with both hands.
•Step back from the chair and lean forward slightly while keeping a flat back.
•Slowly lift your right leg back behind you as high as you can. Don’t strain and breathe normally.
•Now loosen your grip on the chair and straighten your arms just above the chair back. Reach forward as far as you can with your arms. Hold for a count of 5.
•Focus on your outreached hands and engage your core to keep you stable. However, if you feel unsteady just grasp the back of the chair.
•Draw your arms in and hold the back of the chair with both hands and lower the leg.
•Lower and repeat with the left leg. Do each side 3 times.

5. The Stork
•Stand in starting position
•Bend your knee and lift that leg off the ground. Bring the foot back towards your butt.
•Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds working up to 1 minute. Repeat on other side.

6. Tree Pose
•Stand straight, holding on to the back of a chair. A variation is to press your hip against the chair so you can use both of your arms.
•Focus on a spot about 20 feet ahead of you. Take three full deep breaths.
•Lift your right foot and place it on the inside of your left leg. Place it as high as you can. Relax your right leg.
•A slight variation is to place your right foot against the ankle of the left leg, keeping your toes barely touching the floor. Gradually work up into the full version.
•If you are holding onto the chair with your left arm then extend your right arm straight up, finger tips pointing towards the ceiling.
•If you are using your hip for balance then take both arms overhead placing the palms of your hands together.
•Hold for a count of 10 then repeat on other leg.

7. Toe Balance
•Stand in starting position.
•Rise up on your toes and hold for 10-15 seconds, then slowly lower.
•Repeat this movement 5-10 times on each leg.

Always check with a medical professional before starting any new exercises. Be healthy, be happy.

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