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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM
August 06, 2014
Category: Fitness

Importance of Doing Balance ExercisesEven when young and fit, you can probably attest to the feeling you get when you lose your balance and catch yourself before a fall. Of course, a fall can really hurt no matter what age you are, however, if it happens to those in their “seasoned years,” it could lead to severe injury and loss of mobility. Poor balance is associated with an increased risk of falling, so we have provided some easy balance exercises to keep your foundation firm and solid.

A good test to know if you are lacking a sense of steadiness is to try and stand on one leg and close your eyes. If you topple over quickly, it is likely that you could stand to improve your stability. Strong hip muscles, strong ankles, and good nerve function in your feet, are all important factors for good balance. Look for a gym or community center near you that offers Tai Chi classes—this is a great option for exercise and will help improve your equilibrium.

At home, take time to practice the one-legged exercise. If necessary, start with holding on to a railing or table but try to progress to being hands-free, and eventually to standing with your eyes closed. You can further challenge yourself by standing on a cushion or other uneven surface. Repeat on both legs and do this two to three times a day. Walking heel-to-toe is another great exercise for balance. Bring one foot directly in front of the other with your heel right next to the toes of the other foot. Walk straight with your eyes looking ahead. Walk next to a wall if you feel you need something to touch to keep you steady. Walking backwards is another way to improve your stability.

These are simple balance exercises, but over time they can keep you strong on your feet and reduce your risk of falling and becoming injured. If you would like further information or have concerns about your foot health, contact Philip S. Pinsker, DPM by calling our Washington, PA office at (724) 225-7410.

Photo Credit: Jesslef via Pixabay.com

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