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Balance exercises can help you keep your balance — and confidence — at any age. Balance exercises are especially important for older adults because they can help prevent falls and help them keep their independence. It's a good idea to include balance training along with physical activity and strength training in your regular activity.
Nearly any activity that keeps you on your feet and moving, such as walking, can help you keep good balance. But specific exercises designed to improve your balance are helpful to include in your daily routine and can help improve your stability.
For example, balance on one foot while you're standing for a period of time at home or when you're out and about. Or, stand up from a seated position without using your hands. Or try walking in a line, heel to toe, for a short distance. You also can try tai chi — a form of movement training that may improve balance and stability and lower the incidence of falls.
If you have severe balance problems or an orthopedic condition, get your health care professional's OK before doing balance exercises.
When you're ready to try balance exercises, start with weight shifts:
Standing on one leg is another common balance exercise:
Weights can make balance exercises more challenging and also activate core muscles. Try biceps curls with a dumbbell:
Another exercise that can help improve balance and lower the risk of falls is tai chi — a form of movement training.
Look for group classes offered at local fitness centers or senior centers. Or rent or buy videos or books about tai chi. But keep in mind that it's hard to ensure you're using the right techniques when learning the exercises from a book.
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