Your balance and coordination decline as you age. But you can keep that from happening by doing the following exercises. Keep in mind that that you should engage your core muscles when you do them.
Walk on a thin line.
Run a tape on the floor. The length depends on the length of the room, but it should be long enough for you to be able to make several steps. Walk on the tape, make sure you do not step out. This is an easy exercise for mind-body coordination.
Walk on a balance beam.
This is the progression of the earlier exercise. This time, you won’t pretend walking on a balance beam, because you will be walking on an actual balance beam. Have two people hold you from both sides in case you’re scared you might fall off. But try to progress by walking on your own, forcing your mind and body to do all of the work.
Balance on one leg.
This the most basic exercise for training your core, hips, and thigh muscles for balance. For your safety, do this exercise somewhere near a table, sturdy furniture, or anything you can grab on to if you tip your balance.
Start with both feet on the floor. Then slowly raise one foot and bend down to reach for it. You should be standing on one foot with the other foot held up, knee bent forward. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Switch feet. Repeat this exercise four times for each foot.
When you are comfortable with this, do it with your eyes closed. Without visual cues, your core will work harder to keep your balance.
For some variation in this one, you can instead use a good balance trainer board for the same effect.
Swing your leg.
Stand on one foot and raise the other foot about half a feet from the floor. Raise your arms to your sides. Then swing the raised leg forward and backward. Next, swing it sideways. Attempt to keep your body firm. This engages the core muscles. Repeat the same steps for the other foot.
Squat on one leg.
This is an advanced version of the squat and should only be reserved for people with advanced level of fitness. It hits your thigh and butt muscles more than the typical air squat. It can be hard on the knee, so be careful.
Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Raise one foot and point it forward. Then attempt to lower your body until your hips drop just below your knee. Then push your hips back up. This could be hard. One tip is to hold on to the wall or a chair as you go down and up, making sure your thigh is doing much of the work, not your arm. Try to do as many reps as you can, and then switch feet.
If any of these exercises cause pain or discomfort, stop right away. Go to your doctor to find out what’s wrong. Certain conditions may make certain exercises hard or impossible.