Improving Your Balance in Pairs: Standing on One Foot

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This video will teach you an exercise to practice with a partner to improve your balance and help prevent falls

Take a look at the rest of the videos on preventing falls in our series on Gentle Exercise for Older Adults

By following the simple instructions in this tutorial, you can strengthen your ankles and calves to improve your balance, making you less likely to fall

Voice-over by volunteer Lizzie Da Costa

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In this video, you’re going to learn how to perform an exercise that improves your balance, with the help of a partner.

Please ensure that your physical fitness to perform this exercise is checked by a doctor beforehand

The purpose of this task is to improve the stability of your ankles, knees and hips which are essential for maintaining good balance and preventing falls.

This exercise is composed of two stages: Positioning, then movement.

Firstly, positioning.

The older adult should Stand with feet hip-width apart

Stretch out your spine by making yourself taller

Lift the back of the head making yourself as tall as possible, while tucking your chin in and looking in front of you.

So as not to arch your back, tighten your abdominals and buttocks

As the supporting partner: Face your partner and align your left shoulder with theirs.

Grasp the underside of the recipient’s left forearm while ensuring your elbow rests against your body.

Secondly, movement.

For the older adult: Support yourself on your partner’s forearm and lift one foot so that you are balancing on only one leg.

Take a deep breath and then, as you exhale, slowly lift your heel off the ground on the leg you are using to balance.

Hold the position for 2 seconds then place your heel back on the ground.

Repeat two more times with the same leg.

To help with your balance, focus your eyes on a fixed point in front of you.

Then perform the same exercise again, on the other leg.

Gradually, after days of practice you will be able to stay in the balanced position for longer periods of time.

By carrying out exercises that work your balance, muscles and flexibility you will improve your posture and stability.

Over to you!

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