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Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Preventing Falls: Exercises for Strength and Balance
As people age, they lose muscle strength, which can make them more likely to fall. Also, their reflexes slow down. This makes it harder for them to regain their balance if they start to fall.
Learn some strength and balance exercises, and take the time to do them each day. This can help you stay active and independent.
Exercises for improving your strength
Regular physical activity can help you stay strong, and it is safe for almost everyone. Start slowly and gradually increase your activity. Talk to your doctor if you have any problems.
any of these exercises, stand up straight and use a counter or sturdy chair for support. Start by doing each exercise a few times, and work your way up to 8 to 12 times for each exercise.
Exercises for improving your balance
These exercises can help you with balance. You can start by holding on with both hands. When that gets easy, hold on with just one hand. Then hold on with just two fingers of one hand. Soon you may be able to do each exercise without holding on with either hand. But it is important that you only try this when you feel that the way you are doing it now has become too easy.
The first exercise has 4 steps. Remember to relax and take slow, deep breaths. Keep yourself safe by going at your own pace. Trust your instincts, and don't push yourself to do too much too soon.
Exercise programs and tai chi
In many communities, there are group exercise programs for older adults and classes such as tai chi. Check with your doctor to see if you can safely do tai chi exercises. Then contact your local hospital, community center, recreation program, or college to find out about classes.
August 26, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Elizabeth A. Phelan, MD, MS - Geriatric Medicine
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