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Standing Basic Balancing Exercises

Improving our balance makes us more stable while walking and using stairs and decreases our risk of falls and injury. It is an important component of recovery after extended illness and hospitalization.

Length: 1:08

Categories: Start Here, Standing, Exercise


Work on whichever balance exercise feels right for you at this time. This is usually the exercise where you don’t need to hold on to the support surface all the time or at all while still feeling challenged. You can make each exercise harder by trying one of the techniques described in the video, such as standing on a less stable surface.

The goal is be able to eventually stand and balance on one foot for at least 20 seconds or more, with eyes open. Working on these introductory balancing exercises consistently will help you get there.


Our balance and stability might not be great after a long time of inactivity and illness. This can affect how safe we are moving around our homes, like when we get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Here are several different ways you can challenge your balance, so you start to feel strong and confident on your feet again.

You can make each of these exercises tougher by closing your eyes, or turning your head, moving your arms up or out, or standing on something soft, like a folded towel.

First, bring your feet side by side. Have something nearby that you can use to steady yourself if needed, but don’t rely on it to keep you upright. Try to hold this for at least 30 seconds.

Next, have one foot slightly in front of the other. It’s okay if you sway a bit.

Finally, put one foot in front of the other, heel to toe if you can. This can be pretty challenging. Switch sides and see if you feel more stable with the other leg in front. At all times keep something close by for support if needed. Again, aim to hold this for at least 30 seconds.

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