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Falls Prevention Part 2/2

Home Exercises / Tai Chi

Updated: November 2018

Key Points:

  • 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.

  • With fingertips on something solid to help balance, lift both heels off the floor and stand on your toes for three seconds, then slowly lower your heels to the floor

  • Repeat five times.

5. Stepping up a step:

Improves stability on steps, paths and uneven surfaces.

  • Holding onto a rail, go up and down a single step

  • Repeat five times.

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

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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Information Sources:

NSW Health

Neura Quickscreen

Which treatment is best for me?

Researchers test different treatment options to see how successful they are. These tests are called randomised controlled trials (RCT). Researchers also group together similar RCTs to compare the grouped test results. These grouped test results are called systematic reviews (SR). The results from RCTs and SRs are published in peer reviewed medical journals. Inform Podiatry uses these published results and our 25 years of clinical experience to provide you with up to date, evidence based, assessment, diagnosis and treatment options.

Disclaimer: This sheet was researched and developed by Inform Podiatry to provide general information. Inform Podiatry encourages everyone to receive an individual assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan for their foot or ankle pain.

Do you know someone with foot or ankle pain? I would love to help them.

Inform Podiatry

Phone: 1300 602 674

Fax: 07 3041 0346

52 Isedale St Wooloowin QLD 4030

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