Home Exercises / Tai Chi
Updated: November 2018
Unsteady walking or difficulty standing up from a sitting position are strongly associated with falling.
Exercises can help improve strength and balance reducing your risk of falling.
The six balance and strength exercises below are easy to do at home.
Make sure you have a chair, bench top or wall nearby for support when you try them.
Once you become more confident, you can hold for longer, or increase the number of repetitions.
Use smooth movements when performing these exercises and take your time.
Tai Chi is a great exercise to improve your balance and strength.
See Inform Podiatry to assess your strength, reaction time and balance to help design a custom exercise program for you.
For Medication, Vision or Foot Sensation advice see part 1.
Be sure to stop exercising and consult your health professional if you start to feel unwell or uncomfortable or if you are not sure how to perform any exercise.
It is normal to feel some slight initial discomfort especially muscle soreness when you start new exercises. This should ease as your body adjusts to the new routine.
If you have pain, dizziness, light-headedness or palpitations stop exercising and talk to your doctor.
1. Heel-to-toe standing / walking:
Helps keep balance when you have to walk through a narrow space.
With fingertips on something solid to help balance, stand heel-to-toe, bend your knees slightly and keep still for ten seconds
Vary the exercise by walking slowly, placing your heel to touch the toe of the other foot.
2. Knee raises:
Helps with climbing stairs and getting in and out of cars and buses.
With fingertips on something solid to help balance, lift a knee to hip level and hold it for five seconds
Repeat with the other leg
Then repeat 8 times.
3. Side leg raises / sideways walking:
Improves stability when you have to take weight on one leg and helps you step sideways to avoid tripping.
With fingertips on something solid to help balance, stand on one leg and raise the other sideways, holding it for five seconds
Repeat eight times
Repeat with the other leg
Extend to walking sideways, with slow steps alongside a bench or table.
4. Heel raise:
Helps with walking and climbing stairs.
5. Stepping up a step:
Improves stability on steps, paths and uneven surfaces.
6. Sit to stand:
Helps with getting up and down from a chair or toilet and in and out of the car.
Stand up slowly from a chair, keeping your knees slightly apart. To make it harder, cross your arms in front of your chest or hold them out in front of you at shoulder height
Then lower yourself back down into the chair
Repeat 5 times
Tai Chi is a great exercise to improve your balance and strength. Classes can be organised through the links below:
Chermside (Burnie Brae)
Brisbane City Council Active & Healthy
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