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Finding balance in all areas of your life is the way forward. This includes developing balance in your body.

Improving balance increases coordination and strength, allowing you to move freely and steadily. Enhancing stability, mobility, and flexibility makes it easier to perform your daily tasks. It also improves your athletic performance. Focusing on your balance may also help you to focus and clear your mind.

Balancing exercises work your core muscles, lower back, and legs. Lower-body strength-training exercises can also help improve your balance.

While balancing exercises can be challenging at times, consistent effort will make these exercises easier. Gradually increase the number of repetitions as the exercises become easier. You may ask someone to supervise or assist you, especially when you’re first getting started.

You can modify the exercises to increase or decrease the difficulty or adjust for your needs. Start on your nondominant side so that the second side is easier. You can do your nondominant side twice if you want to balance out your body between both sides. Once you get comfortable with the exercises, try doing them with one or both eyes closed.

These exercises keep your body active, improve balance and coordination, and prevent falls and injuries.

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Tightrope walk

  1. Tie a piece of string to two poles.
  2. Hold your arms out wide to the sides.
  3. Walk on the string without stepping off to the side.
  4. Walk at least 15 steps.
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Rock the boat

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Press your weight into both feet firmly and evenly.
  3. Yield your weight onto your left foot and lift your right foot.
  4. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower your left foot to the floor and repeat on the other side.
  6. Do each side five to 10 times.
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Flamingo stand

  1. Stand on your left leg with your right leg lifted.
  2. Use a chair or wall for support as you stretch your right leg forward.
  3. Maintain good posture by keeping your spine, neck, and head in one line.
  4. To increase the difficulty, extend your hand to reach for your right foot.
  5. Hold for up to 15 seconds.
  6. Then do the opposite side.

Balance exercises are a fun and engaging way for kids to gain body awareness. You can incorporate some type of learning activity by combining the balance exercises with something they’re learning in school such as math facts, vocabulary words, or trivia. For example, have children answer a question when they freeze or get to the end of the line.

Bean bag balance

  1. Place a bean bag or similar item on top of your head or shoulder.
  2. Walk in a straight line, maintaining your posture and balance so it stays secure.
  3. Then try walking in a zig-zag or circle, moving backward, or moving from side to side.
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Heel-toe walking

  1. Bring your arms to the side so they’re parallel to the floor.
  2. Use chalk or a string to make a line to follow.
  3. Walk in a straight line, placing the back of your heel against the toes of your opposite foot.
  4. Move slowly and with control.
  5. Continue for 5 to 20 steps.

Musical statues

  1. Play music while children move around and dance.
  2. When the music stops, they should freeze.
  3. Encourage them to freeze in a balancing position such as on one foot, with arms extended, or leaning in one direction.

Practicing balancing exercises allows you to have more control of your body while doing sports. You’ll gain stability, coordination, and ease of movement.

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Banded triplanar toe taps

  1. Put a resistance band around your lower thighs, just above your knees.
  2. Come into a single-leg, quarter-squat on your right leg.
  3. Engage your core and hips muscles.
  4. Using the resistance of the band, tap your left leg forward, to the side, and straight behind you.
  5. Do 10 to 20 repetitions.
  6. Then do the opposite side.

Buy an exercise band online here.

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Single leg cross-body punches

  1. Hold two dumbbells at chest height.
  2. Yield your weight onto your left foot, coming into a quarter-squat.
  3. Keeping your left leg strong and stable, punch the weights across your body, one at a time.
  4. Then do the opposite side.
  5. Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 repetitions.
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Paloff press with rotation

  1. Stand facing a cable machine.
  2. Using both hands, hold the cable handles at the height of your chest.
  3. Walk to the right side and extend your arms away from your body.
  4. Engage your core as you turn away from the machine, maintaining alignment through the center line of your body.
  5. Keep your arms extended and return to the starting position.
  6. Then do the opposite side.
  7. Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 repetitions.

Practicing your balance is vital if you have Parkinson’s disease since it helps to increase strength and endurance. You can also try out some of these yoga poses to improve your mobility and overall quality of life.

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Chair leg raises

  1. To increase the difficulty, this exercise can be done with an ankle weight.
  2. Sit in a chair with a straight spine and both feet directly under your knees.
  3. Slowly, straighten your left leg, holding it up for a few seconds.
  4. Lower it back down and repeat with your right leg.
  5. Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 repetitions.

Side-stepping

  1. From a standing position, step sideways to the right side of the room.
  2. Lift your knees as high as you can while moving as though you’re stepping over something.
  3. Then return to the left side of the room.

The following exercises require the use of an exercise ball or a balance trainer.

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Plank with elbows on a stability ball

To add variety to this exercise, you can use your elbows to make small circles with the ball in both directions.

  1. Come into plank position with your elbows and forearms on a stability ball.
  2. Engage your core, glutes, and quadriceps to maintain proper alignment.
  3. Align your shoulders and hips so they’re square to the floor.
  4. Hold this position for up to 3 seconds.

Beach ball balance (with a partner)

  • Hold a medicine ball while standing on one or both legs on the platform of a Bosu Balance Trainer.
  • Have your partner throw a stability ball toward you.
  • Use your medicine ball to knock the stability ball back to your partner.
  • Do 10 to 20 repetitions.

Find a Bosu Balance Trainer or a stability ball online.

Improved balance makes daily activities, such as walking on stairs, carrying heavy items, and suddenly changing directions, easier. A strong, stable base will allow you to move with more coordination, ease, and fluidity. You’ll also gain stronger and more enhanced movement during athletic activities.

Developing good balance helps to improve your overall health and fitness levels. These improvements help to prevent the risk of injury and falls, especially in older adults and people with Parkinson’s disease. This allows you to maintain your independence longer.

Remain aware of your posture and stability throughout the day. Notice if you’re yielding your weight evenly on both feet and work to root your weight into your feet.

You can also pay attention to whether you tend to yield your body weight forward or backward in space. Try to bring your body into proper alignment and feel a strong connection to the floor. Notice where and how you lose your balance and make the appropriate corrections in your body.

Having the intention to improve your balance can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Remember that your balance can vary daily. Enjoy the process, notice the variations, and have fun with it. You can do these exercises throughout the day and find creative ways to incorporate them into your daily life.

Balance exercises are appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. Older adults and people with certain conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis will find benefit in developing balance. If you wish to work with a physical therapist, you can find a suitable professional here. You may also choose to work with an occupational therapist or professional trainer, as well.