4: Balancing Activities
Step 4: Add Balance Activities
WHY: Improve balance, postural stability, & gait; reduce risk and fear of falls.
WHAT: Balance training activities involve maintaining standing and postural stability under a variety of conditions, including static (stationary) and dynamic (moving) balance.
WHEN: Recommend incorporating balance into everyday activities, as well as performing a 2-3x/wk specific program.
WHERE TO START: Incorporate balance training in daily activities such as standing on one foot while doing dishes or brushing teeth. Begin 5 balance-specific activities, 2 times per week with one set of each activity for 10-15 seconds each. Choose activities based on needs (someone with extremely poor balance should not perform exercises alone).
HOW TO PROGRESS: Progress by increasing the time of each activity to 30 seconds, then by increasing to 2-3 sets of each activity. Gradually increase the challenge of the activity by standing with one foot in front of the other, or on one leg, change the surface you stand on, (foam surface), perform dynamic movements (tandem walk, pivot turn, backward & side-step), and reduce sensory input (close eyes). Progress program to 8-10 balance-specific activities for 2-3 sets of 15-30 seconds.
GOAL: The goal for healthy adults is to perform balance activities 2-3 days per week for 2-3 sets of 8-10 specific activities for 15-30 seconds.
RECOMMENDED BALANCE ACTIVITIES
- 1-Leg Standing -- Lift foot to stand on one leg. Repeat on other leg. Use a sturdy chair for support as needed.
- Side Kick -- Extend your knee and kick out to the side. Repeat on other leg. Use a sturdy chair for support as needed.
- Back Kick with Band -- Loop center of band around one ankle and stabilize other end under your foot. Kick band backward, keeping your knee straight. Use a sturdy chair for support as needed.
- Tandem Stand / Walk
- Standing knee band
- Standing hip raise
- Standing kick
- 1-leg stand on foam
- Side kick with band
A Video Library About Exercise for Strength and Balance
A Pinterest page of many exercise videos