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Easy Exercises to Improve Your Balance

More falls happen to people who are 40+. Statistics show that as we age we are likely to take a fall. After age 25 your balance begins to decline, after 65, one in three people will fall doing normal activities.

We are so busy doing our cardio and lifting weights that we often forget about keeping a healthy balance. Studies have found that by strengthening your butt, quadriceps, and hamstrings, and by doing balance exercises you can decrease your risk of falling by 45 percent.

In the beginning you may find these exercises too hard. It is okay to use a chair or the wall to help hold your position. Try barely touching the surface with your fingertips. This is temporary, as you become more adapt at the exercises you will try to balance without assistance.

When doing balancing exercises if you begin to fall out of the position go back to the beginning and do the exercise from the start; don’t try to recover. Keep your head up and focus your eyes on a spot about 20 feet ahead of you.

Begin each exercise in this starting position unless directed otherwise:
•Stand with your feet hip width apart.
•Relax your arms and drop them to your sides; roll your shoulders back and down.
•Inhale and exhale, settling your feet into the ground.

Here are some exercises to improve your balance:

1.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.

2.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.

3.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.

4.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.

5.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.

6.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.

7.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.

No matter your age keeping your balance is important to your overall health. You will have better posture, more confidence, better coordination and increased strength. Be happy, be healthy!

Always check with a medical professional before starting any new exercises, or adding to an existing routine.


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