Balance Exercises for Older Adults

While balance and stability are important at all ages, they do become more important as we get older and the risks associated with a fall become greater (not to mention the time taken to recover). The good news is that there are plenty of balance exercises for seniors, many of which can be done in the comfort of your own home.  

A family-owned and operated podiatry practice located in the heart of Brisbane’s Samford Village, the team at Foot Health Clinic offers a range of podiatry services to patients of all ages. With more than 60 years of combined experience backing the practice’s three podiatrists, rest assured that your feet will be in good hands. 

Causes of Balance Issues   

It’s no secret that getting older can lead to some balance issues for the simple reason that our bodies just aren’t as nimble and flexible as they used to be, as well as changes to our centre of gravity. Other causes of balance issues include chronic illness, arthritis, migraines, cardiovascular disease, vision impairment, and medication side effects.


Why Balance Exercises are Important 

Incorporating balance exercises into your daily routine can actually reduce your chances of experiencing a fall and sustaining a serious injury. This is because they help you to build strength and improve your posture, stability, and coordination.

Older adults who are concerned about their balance are often anxious or even fearful about falling, which can increase their chances of falling and becoming injured. Balance exercises can help them to feel more self-assured with their movement patterns and to move more confidently.

Along with these physical benefits, balance exercises have been known to improve mental functioning (including memory and spatial cognition).


Precautions to Take When Balance Training 

The introduction of balance exercises to your routine should be approached with caution, as even this could lead to falls if you’re not careful.

Use a chair or wall for extra support, start with the easiest exercises (and gradually move on to those that are more challenging), and sit down and take a break when needed. It’s also a good idea to eat and drink plenty of water before doing any exercise.

Seek the advice of your doctor if you’re new to exercise, have any existing concerns with your balance, if you have a medical condition, or if you’ve previously experienced a stroke or heart attack.


When to Start Doing Balance Exercises 

While the more physically active you are throughout your life, the better your balance will be as you age, it’s recommended that you start incorporating formal balance exercises into your routine once you reach around 60 years old. This will provide you with a level of balance beyond what is needed in day-to-day life, ensuring that if you do trip, you’re more likely to recover rather than actually fall.

Simple At-Home Balance Exercises 

All of these exercises can be performed either barefoot or while wearing shoes. Some older adults find that shoes provide more grip and stability while being barefoot can strengthen the muscles in your feet.

Rock the Boat

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Raise your arms and extend them out to your sides
  • Raise your left foot off the floor and bend your knee, bringing your heel in towards your bottom
  • Hold this position for up to 30 seconds
  • Repeat on the opposite side
  • Repeat the above steps 3 more times

Weight Shifts

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Shift your weight onto your right foot
  • Raise your left foot
  • Hold this position for up to 30 seconds
  • Repeat on the opposite side
  • Repeat the above steps 3 more times

Tightrope Walk

  • Raise your arms and extend them out to your sides
  • With your gaze fixed on a point in the distance, walk in a straight line
  • Each time you raise your foot, pause for 2 to 3 seconds
  • Take 20 to 30 steps total

Tree Pose

  • Shift your weight onto your right foot
  • Raise your left foot and place the sole against your ankle, shin, or thigh (leave your heel lifted)
  • Place your hands in a comfortable position (often by your sides or clasped in front of you)
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute
  • Repeat on the opposite side


  • Stand with both hands on your walker on the back of a chair
  • Lift your left knee as high as you can
  • Lower it and then lift your right knee as high as you can
  • Alternate between both sides for a total of 20 repetitions

Start Your Balance Journey with Foot Health Clinic 

At the end of the day, it’s never too late to start doing balance exercises for seniors or to make changes to your current exercise program to incorporate them. In fact, it’s important to reduce your likelihood of falling and sustaining a serious injury.

If you’d like some extra guidance or aren’t sure where to start with incorporating balance exercises into your routine, get in touch with the team at Foot Health Clinic. One of our expert podiatrists would be more than happy to help you on your balance journey.



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