Balance exercises

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Balance plays no role in preventing prostate problems or major diseases. Still, balance is important for health. A good sense of balance can keep you steady on your feet and reduce your risk of falling. This special set of exercises can be done at any time, every day of the week or just a few times a week.

One-legged stance

One-legged stance

Balance on one foot while you bend your other leg up at the knee. Hold for five to 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat five to 10 times. Switch legs. You may need to touch a wall for balance. As you progress, try to maintain the one-legged stance for longer periods of time.

Heel-to-toe walk

Heel-to-toe walk

Practice heel-to-toe walking as if you were on a tightrope. Hold your arms at your sides or touch a wall for balance if necessary. Walk the length of a long hallway, then turn around and walk back.

Toe point

Toe point

Stand about two feet from a wall so you can use your hand for support if necessary. Keeping both knees straight, bring one leg forward until your toe points 30 to 45 degrees upward. Hold for five to 10 seconds, then slowly lower your leg. Repeat five to 10 times. Switch legs. When you have mastered this, try the exercise with your eyes closed.


Originally published Oct. 1, 2008; last reviewed April 26, 2011.

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