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Ask Dr.True

Try These Balancing Exercises To Improve Your Stability

Q: How can I improve my balance and stability?

A: Loss of balance affects all of us as we age. This deterioration of postural balance and stability can make you feel shaky and unsure, leading to progressive inactivity. There are many medical issues that may contribute to this decline, such as inner ear problems, neuropathy, medications and illness, as well as joint pain. Improving your balance will positively impact your health by helping to prevent falls and increase your exercise goals. The psychological benefits are increased confidence and enhanced mood. Try these simple exercises to improve your balance:

1. Stand with both feet together and lift one foot a few inches off the floor. Try to balance for at least one minute per side. Stand next to a wall to brace yourself if you feel shaky. Increase difficulty by repetitively bending the supportive knee or by placing the non-supported foot on the inside of the supported knee, assuming a stork position. Placing your hands on your hips and rising to your toes in the stork position is the goal. Twist your torso from side to side while holding your balance for an advanced challenge.

2. Stand on one leg with the knee slightly bent and with your back bent forward, lifting your unsupported leg backward to hip height while lifting your arms forward. Stand next to a countertop to brace with one arm for stability if this is too difficult.

Stay healthy!

Dr. Jerry True

(Image via Flickr/Hans Splinter)