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Exercises that Improve Seniors’ Strength & Balance

Aug 10, 2023 | Featured, Health & Wellness, Health, Wellness, & Care | 0 comments

The risk of falling—and fall-related injuries—increases as you age. In fact, 1 in 4 people aged 65 and older fall each year, according to the National Institute on Aging. Falls can cause broken bones, and for seniors, that can be the start of a more serious health condition or even long-term disability. The good news is that falls are preventable, and staying active is key to fall prevention. Learn what simple exercises improve strength and balance below.

Single Leg Balance

Practice this exercise anywhere as a simple way to improve strength and balance. Make sure to hold onto a chair for extra stability if needed.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms out. Slowly lift one knee up.
  3. Hold that position for 10-30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on each leg at least three times.

See this exercise.


This exercise helps build leg strength, which is key to preventing falls. If you need extra support, start this exercise while standing in front of a table or other furniture.

  1. Grab a sturdy chair that doesn’t roll or slide.
  2. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and your back facing the chair.
  3. Extend your arms straight in front of you for balance.
  4. Slowly lower yourself down onto the chair.
  5. Once seated, pause, then push yourself back into a standing position by slightly leaning your chest over your toes. Try to keep your back straight while you do this.
  6. Repeat 10 times, twice daily.

See this exercise.

Toe Raises

Some falls are caused by seniors shuffling their feet when walking rather than lifting them off the ground. This exercise can strengthen your ankle and shin muscles, helping you walk more confidently.

  1. If needed, start by putting two hands on the back of a chair. Otherwise, start in a standing position with your hands on your hips and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Push your weight onto the balls of your feet, lift yourself up, and stand on your tiptoes. Hold for five seconds.
  3. Lower yourself back down until your feet are flat against the floor.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times.

See this exercise.


While walking is a great daily exercise for seniors to improve strength and balance, walking outside may not always be possible, especially in the winter. When you can’t get outside, marching in place is an excellent replacement activity.

  1. Start by standing and resting your hands on the back of a chair.
  2. Lift one knee, touching it to the back of the chair. Hold for one second. If you’re unable to bring your knee all the way to the back of the chair, lift your knee as high as you can.
  3. Complete 10 reps on each side.

See this exercise.

Over-the-Shoulder Walks

This exercise helps improve your balance by forcing your body to work together while performing two different tasks at the same time.

  1. Start in a standing position. Make sure the path in front of you is clear of obstacles for at least 25 feet.
  2. Turn your head to the right so your chin is level with your shoulder.
  3. Keeping your head in this position, walk forward five steps, then pause.
  4. Turn your head to the left so your chin is level with your shoulders.
  5. Keeping your head in this position, walk forward five steps, then pause.
  6. Repeat five times.

See this exercise.

Use Caution

Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. If you experience any pain while doing the above exercises, stop and consult your doctor.

Fall-Proof Your Home

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