Fitness · Health

More Balance Exercises — Just for You!

Jonathan for web

This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises, workouts, and expert tips appropriate to women in the second half of life. Jonathan Urla, a certified advanced health and fitness specialist, shares more exercises to improve balance.

As last week’s article on balance was so popular, I’ve decided to offer three additional balance specific exercises that you can practice at home.

As a general note, doing your balance exercises barefoot is a good idea. Whenever you can, take off your shoes and socks to walk around your house. Allow your toes to spread and stretch, and move them around so they stay flexible.

The following exercises are demonstrated barefoot.

 Airplan pose1Airplane pose2

1. Single Leg Forward Bend: a) Stand with your right side next to a table and rest your right hand on the table for balance. Lift your left foot off the floor with the knee slightly bent. b) Hinge your torso over from the hips to a ninety-degree bend, keeping your back straight and left leg in line with your torso. Open your left arm out to the side and hold for 10 seconds.  See if you can take your other hand off the table for more challenge. Repeat on the other side.

  Lunge twist1Lunge twist2

2. Lunge With Torso Twist: a) Step your right foot back about three feet into a lunge and bend both your knees a quarter of the way. Reach your arms out to the sides and find a steady balance. b) Twist your torso to the left while keeping your hips square to the front and your back straight up and down. Hold for 10 seconds then repeat on the other side.

3. Lateral Hip Shifts into Lateral Stepping: As shown in the video.
I hope these new exercises are instructional for you and you practice them until they are easy. Many of us become afraid of falling as we get older. Doing some balance exercises regularly will help you feel more confident and sure. May you always be grounded, safe, barefoot whenever you can, and live fearlessly.

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  • Gayle September 4, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I have vertigo and welcome these exercises! Help!

  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. August 30, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Many readers have commented about the balance exercises in this post by Jonathan Urla. This post received more traffic than any post we have run in the last year! We are thrilled.

    Jonathan writes for us as a gift to our readers: to make a difference in the lives of women who may not have access to a personal trainer or a private gym. Most of the comments from readers about this post were very positive.

    Since the tagline for our site is “Redefining life after forty, it was a bit odd that a few readers felt that the model who demonstrated the balance exercises was “too young” or that the exercises weren’t for women who were “seniors”.

    Many of our readers exercise regularly and are determined to maintain their balance and strength. The model in the photos and the video is truly in our demographic. See what working out does for you?

    We always stress that no one should do any exercise unless they have the ability to do the exercise. Fitness is a big tent: Tai Chi is great. Yoga is great. Marathon running is great. Do what works for you.

    Dr. Pat

  • MJS August 30, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Jonathan Urla’s integrated approach to wellness is refreshing. He counsels his clients on more than just fitness – providing them with insight into nutrition and mind/body exercises to promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle. He is an outstanding teacher and trainer.