Balance-Training Exercises Are Easy to Do

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Balance exercises are quick, easy and effective, experts say. They can be done with or without specialized equipment, depending on how advanced you are. When starting out, however, make sure to do them near a chair or a wall so you can steady yourself if need be.

As always, talk to a doctor before starting a new exercise regimen if you have any concerns.

A few examples:

-- Stand on one foot. You can do this anywhere, anytime. Do it while brushing your teeth. Or waiting around somewhere. The National Institute on Aging recommends that older people hold the pose for up to 10 seconds, and repeat it 10 or 15 times before switching to the other foot and doing the same.

-- Heel-toe walk: Take 20 steps while focusing on a spot ahead of you.

-- Stand, sit or kneel on a half-ball, a piece of exercise equipment with a hard, flat bottom and an air-filled, rounded platform.

Balance-training guides for older people are available from the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Institute on Aging.

-- Lenny Bernstein

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company