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Exercises for Improving Your Balance

​Balance is the ability to maintain a posture, move between postures and the ability not to fall when reacting to an external disturbance.

Did you know that one’s control of balance starts to decline from the age of 40 to 50 years old? Having a poor balance is a significant risk factor for falls!

In older adults, balance becomes impaired due to the following causes:

  1. Ageing
  2. Deterioration in vision
  3. Muscle weakness 
  4. Reduction in proprioception (the body’s ability to sense or be aware of its movements and position)

It is therefore important to improve the body’s sensory, cognitive and musculoskeletal systems, which in turn helps to reduce the risk of falls. Here are some simple exercises to help improve balance and strength!

Note: The following balance exercises are intended to provide general guidance for patients to do safely on their own. Read the instructions carefully and perform the exercises within your own limits. Stop exercising immediately if you feel unwell. 

Balance and Strength Training Exercises

Repeat each exercise at least 10 times per day, for at least three times a week.

Hip Abduction (Standing)

Hip Abduction (Standing)

  • Hold onto a stable support
  • Lift one leg sideways slightly
  • Slowly lower the leg back down 
  • Repeat with the other leg
 

Half Squat

Half Squat
  • Hold onto a stable support
  • Bend hips and knees slightly as though you are sitting on a chair
  • Slowly stand back up

Heels Raise


Heels Raise
  • Hold onto a stable support, if required
  • Lift heels as high as you can
  • Slowly lower heels back down  


Toes Raise

Toes Raise
  • Hold onto a stable support
  • Rock your feet back and forth from toes to heels  

Sit to Stand

Sit to Stand
  • Sit on a chair and lean forward
  • Straighten hips and knees to a standing position
  • Bear your body’s weight equally on both legs

Step Up and Down


Step Up and Down
  • Hold onto a stable support, if required
  • Step up with your left leg to a stool 
  • Step back down with your left leg 
  • Repeat the same for the right leg  


Single Leg Stance


Single Leg Stance
  • Hold onto a stable support, if required
  • Raise one leg off the floor and slowly remove your hand support 
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and work your way up to 60 seconds
  • Repeat with the other leg  

Tandem Stance/Walking


Tandem Stance/Walking
  • Hold onto a support, if required
  • Walk forward with the heel of one foot touching the toes of the other  


Walk Backwards

Walk Backwards
  • Hold onto a support, if required
  • Walk backwards
  • Take large steps and do not drag your feet
     

Step in Star Formation


Step in Star Formation
  • Stand on one leg
  • Reach and tap for a different direction of a star formation with the other leg and return the extended leg back to the starting position
  • Do not drag your feet
  • Repeat with the other seven directions of the star formation, then switch legs
     

Forward Lunge

Forward Lunge
  • Step forward with one leg, bending both knees
  • Keep the back straight
  • Repeat with the other leg  

Side Lunge

Side Lunge
  • Stand with knees slightly bent, stomach tightened
  • Alternate step to side with left leg
  • Repeat with the right leg  



Please seek your doctor’s or physiotherapist’s advice should you have any doubts or concerns before starting the exercise routines.

The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) is not liable for any adverse events or injuries sustained from the above exercise routines.


The Joy Makers
Stories from the heart

The Joy Makers

02 Aug 2022 | Stories from the Heart (NHCS)