Balance Exercises That May Limit Falls and Improve Heart Health

Jan 5, 2021

Balance plays a huge role in basic daily activities, such as walking, running, standing up from a chair, turning around, looking behind and going up and down the stairs. Having good balance can help prevent falls and injuries, especially if you play sports.

Meanwhile, when aiming to improve your heart health, it is recommended to include all four types of exercise (stretching, cardio, strength and balance) in your workout routine. Not only that, variety can help keep exercising more interesting and fun and can also help you stay committed to your health and fitness goals for the long haul.

How Much Balance Exercise Do You Need?

You can do balance training as often as you like. It is ideal for older adults and stroke patients to do balance training for at least three times per week to lower their risk for falls. Two of the best exercises you can try to improve balance are yoga and tai chi.

Yoga Poses For Balance

Here are some easy yoga poses that can help improve your balance. All you need is a mat and some space, and you’re good to go.

forward bend demonstration1. Forward Bend

  • Stand straight with both feet together.
  • Slowly do a forward bend by trying to reach your feet using your head.
  • You may touch the floor or the back of your thighs if you can, but don’t force yourself to do it.
  • Take deep breaths (inhale and exhale) for a few seconds.
  • Slowly get your upper body back up as you inhale. Stand straight again.

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tree pose demonstration2. Tree Pose

  • You can start this pose by focusing your weight onto your right foot.
  • Lift your left leg and your knee.
  • Place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh. Go as high as you can.
  • Point your left toes downwards.
  • Straighten your arms and raise them overhead.
  • Relax your shoulders and breathe (inhale and exhale) for a few seconds.
  • Repeat this pose using your right leg.

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chair demonstration3. Chair

  • Start by standing with your feet together or width apart (around 4 to 6 inches).
  • Bend both knees with your buttocks out and your torso slightly leaning forward, as if you’re sitting on a chair.
  • Straighten your shoulders and keep your hips low as you inhale and stretch both arms overhead.
  • Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to a minute as you take deep breaths.

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Other Balance Exercises You Can Easily Do at Home

The good thing about balance training is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. In fact, you can do it while you’re preparing food in the kitchen, while walking to the office and more. Here are some sample exercises you can easily do at home.

  1. Try standing on one foot for at least 10 seconds while watching TV or while brushing your teeth. Try it on each side.
  2. Try to walk as normally as you can on a straight line.
  3. Try walking heel to toe for about 20 steps around your house.

Home exercises courtesy of the American Heart Association

American Heart Association
Harvard Health Publishing
Verywell Fit

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