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Stay Fit. Stay Balanced. Prevent Falls.

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

Each year U.S. hospitals have 300,000 admissions for broken hips. Falling is often the cause of those fractures.

As we age, many physical factors put us at an increased risk of falling such as: hearing loss, vision loss, lack of mobility and loss of muscles mass. The average person will lose about one percent of their muscle mass per year after the age of forty five. The best way to counteract that is to use your muscles by leading an active lifestyle.  Balance exercises can help you stay independent by helping you avoid the often permanent physical disabilities that may result from falling.  And you don’t have to have fancy equipment to strengthen your muscles and improve your balance. There are many easy exercises you can do at home.

Stand on one foot.

  • Stand on one foot behind a sturdy chair, holding on for balance.
  • Hold position for up to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  • Repeat with opposite leg

Walk heel to toe.

  • Position the heel of one foot just in front of the toes of the other foot. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch.
  • Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
  • Take a step. Put your heel just in front of the toe of your other foot.
  •  Repeat for 20 steps.

Back leg raises  (strengthens buttocks and low back)

  • Stand behind a sturdy chair, holding on for balance.
  • Flex your left foot, then slowly lift left leg straight back without bending your knee.  Try not to lean forward. Hold position for 1 second.
  • Keep your right standing leg slightly bent.
  •  Repeat 10 to 15 times with each leg

Side leg raises (strengthens hips, thighs, and buttocks) 

  • Stand behind a sturdy chair with feet slightly apart, holding on for balance.
  • Flex your left foot and slowly lift your left leg out to the side. Keep your back straight and your toes facing forward.
  • Keep your right standing leg slightly bent and hold position for 1 second.
  • Breathe in as you slowly lower your leg.
  •  Repeat 10 to 15 times with each leg.