You can include these simple movements into your daily activities.

Our muscles and senses are extremely important to maintaining our balance and preventing falls. Including these simple exercises into our everyday activities can keep our muscles and senses in shape. The muscles that work around the ankle, knee and hip joints are responsible for producing the majority of the force needed for us to respond to balance disturbances. Therefore, the exercises presented here will target the ankle, knee and hip.

Let us start with the ankle

While sitting, lift your foot slightly off the ground and slowly rotate it five times to the right and then five time to left.  Repeat with your left foot. Also while sitting, take this opportunity to point your toes and hold it for a count of five and then pull your toes towards you for a count of five.  Repeat both of these 3-4 times a day,with both feet, when you are sitting.

When you are standing in line or waiting around, you can try to raise up on your toes (not too high) and lower back down slowly.  Repeat these small heel-lifts five times and do this 3-4 times a day when you are standing still (find a ledge or chair to hold onto if necessary).  In addition, while you are standing, shift the pressure under your feet so that you don’t have it focused on just one spot all the time – this can be done by flexing the small muscles in your feet. Do this whenever you are standing.

Next, the knees

There are multiple ways to exercise the muscles around the knees during the day.  One simple way is to exaggerate your knee movement during walking. While walking bend at the knee slightly more than usual (or take a slightly longer step) and this will activate the muscles around the knees (and the hip). Another good way to challenge the muscles around the knees are to take the stairs, make sure you mix in both up and down. Going up the stairs will strengthen the muscles involved with push off and going down the stairs will help with muscles required to place, control and stabilize your steps. These movements are very important in your ability to recover your balance.

Lastly, the hips

For the hips, I would suggest a get up and stand exercise that you can do while watching TV. Start by sitting on the floor, near your chair or couch, and then try to stand up and sit in the chair/couch. Initially you can use the furniture to help you, but as you get stronger try not to use as much. Do this about 6 times a days (or as many as you can do) and try to alternate whether you turn to your right or to your left to get up from the floor. The muscles around the hips are large and this exercise uses your own body weight to strengthen them.

No extra time needed, just move when you can…

To summarize, developing your muscle strength and flexibility are critical for balance and avoiding falls.This strategy of including exercise into your daily activities will help maintain your ability to respond to balance challenges and reduce your risk of falling. Shoe Insoles for Balance