6 exercises for strength and balance

Try these six simple exercises two or three times a week – every day if you like – and you should soon notice improvements to your co-ordination and balance.

- Make sure the chair you use is sturdy
- Wear supportive shoes
- If you experience chest pain, dizziness, or severe shortness of breath, stop and call your GP or call 111
- A slight soreness the day after is quite normal.

Heel Raises

Stand tall, holding the back of a sturdy kitchen-type chair or kitchen sink, then lift your heels off the floor, taking your weight onto your big toes. Hold for three seconds, then lower with control. Repeat 10 times.

Toe Raises

Stand tall holding the same support, then raise your toes – taking your weight on your heels. Don’t stick your bottom out. Hold for three seconds, then lower with control. Repeat 10 times.

Sit to Stand

Sit tall near the front of a chair with your feet slightly back. Lean forwards slightly and stand up (with hands on the chair if needed). Step back until your legs touch the chair then slowly lower yourself back into the chair. Repeat 10 times.

Heel-To Stand

Stand tall, with one hand on your support. Put one foot directly in front of the other to make a straight line. Look ahead, take your hand off the support and balance for 10 seconds. Take the front foot back to hip width apart. Then place the other foot in front and balance for 10 seconds.

Heel-Toe Walking

Stand tall, with one hand on a support like a kitchen cabinet. Look ahead and walk 10 steps forwards, placing one foot directly in front of the other so that the feet form a straight line. Aim for a steady walking action. Take the feet back to hip width apart, turn around and repeat the steps in the other direction.

One-Leg Stand

Stand close to your support and hold it with one hand. Balance on one leg, keeping the support knee soft and your posture upright. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

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