Tip 1: Make Exercises Challenging but Doable

Just like any exercise you have to push yourself a little to get the benefits.  When doing a balance exercise, if you can keep from falling for at least five seconds, but you are wobbling all over the place, it is challenging, but doable and you will improve with practice.  If you can maintain your balance thirty seconds while doing the exercise and you are not too wobbly, then it might be too easy.

Balance Exercise on Bongo Board with Harness
Tip 2: Be Safe

When doing balance exercises you will lose your balance and that’s okay, however you want to make sure you do it in a safe way so that you don’t go crashing down to the ground.  This may be something as simple as standing next to a counter.  One of the best methods is to stand with your back to a corner a place a chair in front of you.  For more complex and challenging exercises you may need to utilize a safety harness. Click the photo to the left for a video demonstration.

Balance Exercise on PillowTip 3: Create Variety
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The body relies on a lot of different parts to stay balanced (click here to learn more), so you want to challenge your balance in different ways.  Here are a few simple things you can do to make your balance exercise more challenging:

  • Stand with your feet closer together or even on one foot.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Shift your weight forward, backward, or sideways.
  • Stand on something squishy like a pillow or cushion.
  • Move your head side to side or up and down.

Tip 4: Practice, Practice, Practice

When learning a new skill or even reacquiring an old one the amount of practice makes a huge difference.  You may get some benefit by doing one balance exercise once a week, but you will make significant improvements if you practice a couple of exercises for several minutes at a time, two to three times a day, every day.

To learn more about balance exercises and conditions that affect balance such as dizziness and vertigo, or for help with specific balance exercises or conditions, please contact us at Neurology, Psychiatry, and Balance Therapy Center.

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