There are several easy-to-perform exercises that can help improve balance. Here are just a few:
To begin, stand comfortably and lift one foot off the ground. Hold your foot in front of you, with the heel facing down and toes pointed up. Try to hold the position for at least 10 seconds before taking a break. Repeat the exercise on the other leg.
Get creative and experiment with different positions such as holding your leg out to the side, flexing your knee so your foot is behind you, or flexing your knee and bringing the leg upwards as far as you can toward your chest. You can enlist the use of your arms as well by raising them high above your head or sticking them out to the side as you put your legs in various positions. If you’re ready for something more challenging, try closing your eyes during these exercises.
There are also techniques for patients who can walk but have an unsteady gait. In these cases, taking long strides and exaggerating the movement of the shoulders can help improve balance. Allowing the arms to remain loose and limber can bring about a graceful stride, as their natural swinging motion complements the movements of the lower limbs.
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About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.