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Exercise and Fitness

Balance

03/04/2002

Question:

As I get older I find my balance is getting worse. What can I do to have better balance?

Answer:

If you need to improve your balance, try these easy exercises. 1) Stand near something you can grab if you need to. Rise to your tiptoes 10 times without reaching for support. Then repeat with your eyes closed. 2) Still standing near a support, stand on one leg, flexing the other knee slightly. Repeat 10 times, then repeat with eyes closed. 3) Using the same set-up, lift one leg to the side, then the other leg. Repeat 10 times. 4) Holding onto something, stand on a piece of foam rubber no more than 2 inches thick. Then balance without holding. 5) Walk across the floor, heel-to-toe. 6) Spend a little time each day standing on one foot, then the other.

A small study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that flat-heeled, high-topped shoes (boots) improved balance in a group of women aged 60 to 90.

As always, check with your physician first to rule out any underlying cause for loss of balance.

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati