Ready to Balance?
There are so many exercises and stretches you can do to improve your balance – it quickly becomes overwhelming. So let’s start with a focus on the ankles because when we are standing still, our ankle joints and the smaller muscles around the joints help us to keep our balance.
Can you take 5-10 minutes per day to work on your balance and ankle strength? You can put on some music or a podcast to keep you company and the time will fly by.
Even if we only focus on the ankles, there are many exercises to choose from and they all are deceptively simple. Here are two exercises for starters with some “plus up” options for when you feel ready for the next level.
1) Check your posture. When standing, the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle should be in a straight line.
2) Don’t put yourself at risk – stand next to a chair, counter or wall to catch you if you start to lose your balance.
Exercise #1: Looking forward, stand on one foot and count 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005. The non-weight-bearing foot can be anywhere, but it’s easier to begin with it close to the ground. Switch which foot is weight-bearing and repeat the same count. Repeat the set (right leg and left leg) some five to 10 times. As you progress, build up to a 30-second count per foot. As you increase the time per foot, you can decrease the number of sets.
Ready for the next level?
Looking forward, stand on one foot and count to five. Remain on that foot, look over your right shoulder and count to five. Remaining on that foot, look over your left shoulder and count to five. (The weight-bearing foot gets a total count of 15 before resting.) Switch feet. Repeat each foot five to 10 times.
Exercise #2: Lightly holding onto a counter or the back of a chair, lift yourself up on your toes, slowly rolling your foot from heel to toe and back down from toe to heel. Feel the movement through every part of your foot, lifting your toes when you roll back to your heels. Repeat this 15 times.
Ready for the next level?
Lightly holding onto a counter or the back of a chair, stand on one leg and lift yourself up on your toes, slowly rolling your food from heel to toe and back down from toe to heel. Feel the movement through every part of your foot, lifting your toes when you roll back to your heels. Repeat this 15 times on each foot.
Let me know how it’s going and if you have any questions. I will periodically check in with more balance information and exercises. Or Like my Breathe Body page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/BreatheBody/